IoD Week In Policy 24th-28th January

Weekly Policy Report

We welcomed what was a slightly quieter week in policy this week. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t working hard. We are continuing our campaign against the National Insurance contribution hikes, urging the government to mitigate the impact of the energy crisis, and advocating for improvements to vocational qualifications.

National Insurance rises

  • The government decision to raise National Insurance contributions is causing significant concern for our membership.
  • According to data 68% of our directors told us they are concerned about the effects the tax hike will have on their organisation.
  • 38% stated they will raise prices to offset some of the cost associated with this, and 1 in 5 said they would have to employ fewer people.
  • Not only is this a real concern for the business community, particularly SMEs, but it is adding further inflationary pressure.
  • Please sign our petition, to reverse the National Insurance rise.

The energy crisis

  • We joined forces with the CBI, FSB, BCC, and MAKE UK – representing businesses of all sizes across the UK – to urge the Government to soften the severe blow energy price rises are going to have on organisations and their employees.
  • Our joint letter to the Chancellor highlighted that the scale of the crisis has left companies with little protection while they face dealing with soaring wage, shipping and tax costs, and that without action, businesses will be forced to pass costs onto consumers, adding further inflationary pressure.
  • Find out more here:

Future of post-16 qualifications

  • We responded to a government consultation on the future of post-16 qualifications.
  • The government has made the decision to delay planned defunding of BTEC courses by a year, and we welcome this. But we want them to go further.
  • T-Levels are a vocational equivalent to A Levels. They are an employer led qualification, which includes an industry placement component, and have the opportunity to raise the status of vocational education.
  • Of our membership, 14% say they are already offering T-Level placements; 32% said they were unsure whether or not to do so; 42% said they didn’t know enough about them, and 29% said they don’t have the necessary infrastructure.
  • By delaying defunding for longer, organisations will have more time to generate capacity for these types of qualification, which can play an important part in the government’s skills strategy.

Joint outcome statement: India-UK round one FTA negotiations

  • The UK launched Free Trade Agreement negotiations with India on 13th January this year.
  • Today, the governments concluded round one of these negotiations, which lasted for two weeks.
  • The round constituted of 32 sessions focusing on 26 policy areas. Although as yet there is no detail about what exactly will be in each chapter, we are encouraged to see there is a stand alone chapter for SMEs, customs trade facilitation and digital trade.
  • Second round negotiations will begin 7th – 18th March.
  • You can read more from the government here.

Week ahead in Policy

 Monday 31st January

  • Treasury Committee oral evidence on the cost of living.

Tuesday 1st February

  • Topical questions to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the House of Commons. The first questions are around whether the tax system can be used to reduce the impact of the cost of living crisis.
  • BEIS Committee takes oral evidence around competition policy in digital markets as part of their enquiry into ‘Post-pandemic economic growth: State Aid and Post-Brexit Competition Policy’.
  • Oral questions in the House of Lords on facilitating imports from the EU.
  • We will be releasing our Director’s Confidence Index based on our policy voice data

Thursday 3rd February 

  • Bank of England interest rate decision

Friday 4th February 

  • Deadline for consultation responses on the statutory review of the Reporting on Payment Practices & Performance Regulations 2017, which require larger firms to report their supplier payment terms to government.

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