Weekly Policy Report 16 – 20 January 2023

It’s been a cold week. But that does not mean things are not warming up in the policy world.

The economy is still proving very difficult, but there may now be fragments of light at the end of the tunnel. There are debates around the levelling-up agenda, the EU Law Bill, and the usual whether to, or whether to not cut taxes.

Here’s our thoughts on some of these issues…

Food for thought – The annual rate of inflation fell from 10.7% in November to 10.5% in December. While this is a reassuring dip, we should not forget there are still significant inflationary pressures in the economy: food prices are continuing to climb considerably. Read our analysis here.

Work in progress – Monthly labour market statistics showed the rate of unemployment increased by 0.2% in the three months to November, vacancies fell for a sixth consecutive month in a row, and the rate of inactivity decreased slightly. Read our analysis here.

Kill Bill – On Thursday, the Commons debated the third reading of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. We have argued against the Bill, which would automatically sweep away thousands of pieces of legislation and established legal principles, causing significant confusion and disruption for businesses. The IoD was referenced by shadow Business minister Justin Madders during the debate. You can find our view on the Bill here.

The Director’s Update – Today, we have published our member exclusive Director’s Update report, outlining key developments in the last quarter of 2022, and what we feel is important to look out for in the coming months. We were pleased to be able to give a sneak preview of the report to many IoD members in our webinar event on Tuesday. But for those missed it, you can find the full report here.

Winning bids – On Wednesday, the second round of the government’s Levelling-Up fund winning bids were announced. Those successful include a new Eden Project for the north of England, a brand new boutique hotel for Blackpool, and a quayside regeneration in Gateshead. We wrote a blog on Levelling-up, which you can find here.

Policy Voice January 2023 – A key benefit of being an IoD member is the opportunity to influence government and the media through our Policy Voice surveys. Our January survey is now live and hopefully you will have seen the link in your inbox. We have recently moved from an opt-in system to an opt-out system, so everyone will now automatically receive our policy surveys, have the opportunity to contribute and can choose to opt-out if preferred.  This month we are asking for reactions to the government’s support for energy bills, economic confidence, and whether members would like to contribute to IoD research on tackling skill shortages. Thank you to everyone who has already responded.

Next week watch out for…

Monday 23 January

  • The House of Lords is hosting discussions with the Trade Unions concerning changes to rights proposed in the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

Wednesday 25 January

  • The House of Commons international Trade Committee will take oral evidence on UK trade negotiations: CPTPP accession.

  • Prime Minister’s Questions at midday

Thursday 26 January

  • ONS will release their Businesses Insights and Impact on the UK economy survey.

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