IoD Week in Policy 28 August - 1 September 2023

Summer, if we are even able to call it that, is drawing to a close, and people are switching back from holiday mode to work mode. Or at least trying to, amidst train strikes and air space shutdowns. Air traffic control or air traffic out-of-control?

Speaking of control, there has been some rearranging of the Downing Street furniture this week. This edition of musical chairs has seen Grant Shapps take on the Defence brief after Ben Wallace announced his departure from politics. Claire Coutinho, previously parliamentary under-secretary of state with responsibility for childcare, has replaced Shapps as Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero. We are looking forward to seeing how we can work with her in this important area moving forwards.

This is perhaps the last week for a while we will be able to claim a quieter (ish) time in policy as activity gets back into that term-time swing. And it seems that ‘control’ has been a recurring theme…

Board games – Are boards losing control? We published a report which looks at the biggest challenges facing companies over the next five years. Boards face evermore complex risks than before, and we feel they therefore need to step up to engage more with their wider stakeholders.

Slim prospects – We released our monthly Director’s Economic Confidence Index, which measures how businesses are feeling about the prospects for the wider UK economy over the next 12 months. This month, business confidence is low, as low as last month. While inflation feels slightly more under control, cost pressures, particularly wage costs, are a primary driver of lower confidence. Our full analysis is here.

Computer says..? – AI is an exponentially growing phenomenon all over the world. It brings with it huge uncertainty, opportunity, and for this reason it is being heralded as the dawn of the fifth Industrial Revolution. So, what do we do about this, as the business community? We explore the themes of productivity, cost and regulation alongside innovation and governance in our business paper, exclusive to IoD members.

Chinese takeaways – On Wednesday, the Foreign Minister James Cleverly met with the Chinese foreign minister in an attempt to repair ties in UK-Chinese relations. They recognise that both countries have shared values on global trade and therefore positive bilateral trading relations are mutually beneficial. We recently had a look into how IoD members are approaching their supply chains in relation to geopolitical pressures surrounding China, which you can find here.

Next week watch out for…

Monday 4 September

  • Parliament returns from summer recess

Tuesday 5 September

  •  The Chancellor of the Exchequer will take oral questions in the House of Commons

Wednesday 6 September

  • The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will take oral questions in the House of Commons
  • Prime Minister’s Questions at midday
  • The Energy Security and Net Zero Committee will take oral evidence in the House of Commons on preparations for winter

Friday 8 September

  • Our Chief Economist will be exploring the latest economic outlook alongside Rob Elder from the Bank of England at the IoD Summer Economic Update. Book your space here.

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