Intelligence Briefing 24th September 2015

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In this issue: Weekly Focus: Steel industry and union join forces for European Parliament event | EEF’s Party Conference Programme | Independent Pension Trustees | In the Media | Week in review | The week ahead | Blogs from this week                                               

Weekly Focus: Steel industry and union join forces for European Parliament event

UK Steel and Community, which represents workers in the steel sector, held a successful seminar in the European Parliament this week to discuss steelmakers’ place in a future low-carbon economy and highlight shared concerns over the impact of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS).

The event included participants from the European Commission and UK Government, and was attended by UK MPs and MEPs, including members of the key environment and industry committees, and several representatives of steel-producing regions. There was support for the joint position presented by UK Steel and Community and appreciation of the open and collaborative approach being taken by the industry in the UK.

Both UK Steel and Community are worried proposals for reform of the EU ETS published by the European Commission in July fail to adequately address the risks the scheme poses to energy-intensive industries like steel that have to compete internationally, often on very small margins.

For further information please contact Roz Bulleid or Fergus McReynolds

EEF’s Party Conference Programme

This year EEF will again be co-hosting business receptions and panel debates at the Conservative and Labour party conferences. Full details are available below. Please note that although the two panel events are open to anyone to attend, the business receptions are invitation-only, so if you would like to attend either of these please contact Rocky Lorusso on rlorusso@eef.org.uk or 020 7654 1575.

Labour Party Conference:

Business Reception with Demos, BCC, EEF, FSB, ACCA, ICAEW, IPSE (by invitation only)
Date/time: 18.00-19.30, Sunday 27 September
Venue: Brighton Musical Hall, 127 Kings Road Arches, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2FN

Speakers:

Angela Eagle MP, Shadow Business Secretary
Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF

Fabian Society/EEF Fringe Panel Event – ‘The path to prosperity: solving Britain’s productivity puzzle’
Date/time: 12:30-13:45, Monday 28 September
Venue: Holiday Inn, Brighton

Speakers:

Stephen Doughty MP, Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills
Seema Malhotra MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Heather Stewart, Economics Editor, The Observer
Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive, EEF
Graham Cole, Chairman, AgustaWestland
Cameron Tait, Senior Researcher, Fabian Society (chair)

Conservative Party Conference:

Business reception with Enterprise Forum, BCC, EEF, FSB, ACCA, ICAEW, IPSE (by invitation only)
Date/time: 17.45-19.00, Monday 5 October
Venue: Alexandra B, Midland Hotel, Manchester (secure area)

Speakers:

Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Mike Cherry, Policy Director, FSB

Enterprise Forum/EEF Fringe Panel Event – ‘Winning the global race – Delivering a strategy for British business success’
Date/time: 12.30-14.00, Tuesday 6 October
Venue: Arora Hotel, 18-24 Princess Street, Manchester M1 4LY

Speakers:

Rt Hon Anna Soubry MP, Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise
Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive, EEF
Tony Caldeira, Managing Director, Caldeira Group
Esther McVey, Founder, If Chloe Can and former employment minister
Andrew Cumpsty, Chairman, Enterprise Forum (Chair)

Independent Pension Trustees

If you have an existing trust based pension scheme, or are in the process of setting one up as a consequence of the auto-enrolment process, you may be considering appointing an Independent Pension Trustee to your Pension Trustee Board, a practice which is advocated by the Pension Regulator. To assist members in sourcing an Independent Pension Trustee, EEF has teamed up with Flavell Gibson Limited, a specialist provider of independent pension trustee services to the manufacturing sector.

For more information, contact Martin Flavell on either 01962 853130 or 07540 642600 or at martin.flavell@flavellgibson.com.

In the media

UK Steel’s comments on the challenges facing the steel sector in response to SSI’s production halt were widely reported in The Times (link unavailable), The Sunday Times (£), The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail and BBC News. UK Steel Director Gareth Stace was interviewed on the subject by BBC News, The Today Programme, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Look North.

UK Steel’s comments ahead of today’s UK Steel Forum were also covered by The Daily Telegraph (link unavailable), The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror and BBC News.

For more information contact Sophie Carroll, External Affairs Executive

Week in review

Public sector borrowing

Public sector net borrowing (excluding public sector banks) increased by £1.4bn in August 2015 compared with August 2014, while central government receipts fell by £0.3bn over the same period. As a result, the current budget deficit widened to £10.2bn in August 2015 from £9.1bn in August 2015, and net debt to GDP increased to 80.6% from 79.7%.

World trade

World trade volumes fell month-on-month in July by 0.4%, following a solid 2.6% increase in June. The value of world trade also deteriorated by 1.1% in July, with both the value of exports and imports declining, by 1.2% and 1.1% respectively.

The week ahead

30th Sep: Quarterly National Accounts (Q2 2015)
1st Oct: UK Manufacturing PMI, Labour Productivity (Q2 2015)

Blogs from this week

21 Sep 2015
A Monday morning look ahead at the data and events relating to UK manufacturing by George Nikolaidis

23 Sep 2015
Global trade data published today shows a decline in trade volumes for July 2015. Should we be worried? by George Nikolaidis

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