Weekly Policy Report 20 – 24 March 2023

If last week was all about the money, this week has been all about the numbers.

We’re trying to keep them all straight in our head. We’ve contended with economic data, vote counts, banking brainteasers, the number of drinks consumed at illegal lockdown parties… We’ve also been religiously tracking the number of IoD members responding to our latest Policy Voice member survey, which we are pleased to report is on the up, as well as counting down the days until the clocks go forwards. So, get your calculators out…

Food for thought – The ONS released their latest inflation stats, and the pesky price rises are back on the up. Inflation rose from 10.1% annually in January to 10.4% in February. This is primarily due to a hike in food prices, not helped by a shortage in certain vegetable items in recent weeks. Our Chief Economist was on the TV to speak about our analysis, which you can find here.

Interesting times – In response to the news on inflation, the Bank of England decided to raise interest rates from 4% to 4.25%. This is the highest interest rates have been in 14 years. Read the BBC’s analysis here.

Yes, Minister – The House of Commons voted in favour of the Windsor Framework, the pièce de résistance of Rishi’s premiership, by 515 to 29. The Framework will hopefully create a much simpler trading relationship between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, and ease some of the EU-UK tensions that have overshadowed Europe in recent years. Our statement on this is here.

Risky business – We responded to a consultation on the implementation of the Basel 3.1 standards. This consultation is about the amount of capital a bank needs to hold in relation to the value of its risk weighted assets. Basically, the higher the value of risk a bank takes on, the more capital it needs to hold to remain robust. We were able to really dig down into the financial weeds with our response here.

Last chance – We have a Policy Voice member survey live, but it closes this Sunday… so get in there and tell us your views on the current policy climate. Our surveys are the best way we can influence the government’s policy agenda on our members’ behalf, and journalists are normally waiting in the wings for the latest scoop as well. Your very own personal reminder link should be in your inboxes as of this morning.

Next week watch out for…

Wednesday 29 March

  • Bank of England releases data on the number of mortgage approvals in February, a useful indicator of the state of the housing market in the light of recent interest rate rises.

Thursday 30 March

  • House of Commons rises for the Easter Recess

Saturday 1 April

  • Look out for our Director’s Economic Confidence Index, which we publish on the first of every month, and is a calculation of how optimistic our members are in the prospects for the UK economy based on our Policy Voice survey results.

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