EEF on the campaign trail

Posted on 14 Dec 2012

Manufacturers’ group EEF has given evidence to three separate Select Committees in the last two weeks.

Gareth Stace, head of climate and environment policy, gave evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on its inquiry into the government’s proposals for an Energy Intensive Industry (EII) compensation package.

Mr Stace says “We emphasised that the government should not lose sight of the aim of the package -ensuring a level playing field for sectors trading at a global level subjected to high costs due to the climate change policy. We also called for more longer term certainty for investors, as this package is currently on scheduled to run for two years. We made it clear that we, as EIIs, were not looking for handouts, but a solution to address unilateral policies that increase the cost of electricity within both the UK and EU, but not elsewhere.” EEF will formally submit its position to government nest week.

For more information contact Gareth Stace on [email protected]

EEF’s head of employment policy, Tim Thomas, gave oral evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee for its inquiry into pensions.

“We made a number of points regarding pension scheme governance committees, which are a useful means of promoting the employer-employee relationship. We highlighted that the challenge was promoting these to SMEs, and we also advocated an Acas-type approach to governance, not a regulatory one.

“The second issue we raised was around what employers’ responsibilities should be for communications for scheme members. We find our members are content to provide information, but are wary of when this might then become advice, which they cannot provide.

“We emphasised the need for greater clarity between the two – until this is provided employers will continue to remain cautious and as a result may provide less information.”

For more information contact Tim Thomas on [email protected]

Finally, chief economist Lee Hopley gave evidence to the Treasury Select Committee’s inquiry on the Autumn Statement.

Questions covered the government’s fiscal plans, access to finance and the announced change to the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA).

“We highlight the importance of the change to the Annual Investment Allowance in bringing forward investment in manufacturing, but while welcome it was not certain that the change would be significant enough to overcome the other factors holding back spending on new plant and machinery,” she said.

“We will be engaging with government over these issues in the coming months as we look to develop our positions ahead of the Budget Statement, which has now been scheduled for 20 March 2013.”

For more information contact Lee Hopley on [email protected].