The construction and infrastructure sector is making a significant contribution to the UK government’s Build Back Better drive to ensure that the economy recovers and thrives post-Covid. Given the importance of the industry to the nation’s health and wealth, what can construction and infrastructure companies do to ensure that their work is better promoted and that they receive due credit for the impact they make on society.
This webinar explored how firms can be effective in getting their message across to the public and other key audiences and looked at best practice examples of good communications and profile-raising activity across our sector.
Infrastructure Intelligence have partnered with the BECG Group for a series of free virtual roundtables, webinars, and interviewswhich will bring the infrastructure community together to share and learn from their experiencesand to focus on what a successful future should look likefor the sector.
In what has been a busy time in UK politics, Cavendish Advocacy was delighted to host a webinar in conversation and Q&A with Lord Gavin Barwell, former MP, Housing Minister, and Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss the local elections, the Queen’s Speech and what he expects is next for the Government.
Chaired by Managing Director, Gareth Morgan, Lord Barwell gave his perspective on the local elections and Queen’s Speech, reflected on his time at the highest echelons of government, and where he thinks it should now be channelling its energy following a difficult few months.
He was elected Conservative MP for Croydon Central in May 2010. Losing his seat at the 2017 election, Lord Barwell then served as Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Theresa May until her departure from No 10 in July 2019.
Published last year, Gavin wrote his gripping memoir titled ‘Chief of Staff‘ providing a fascinating insight into one of the most crucial periods of recent British political history, from Theresa May’s leadership to Brexit negotiations.
For the first time since taking office, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, would have hoped Wednesday was the opportunity to deliver a Spring Statement more aligned with his conservatively fiscal personal views on public finances, not overshadowed by pandemic spending. Events dear boy, events, however, have once again had a profound impact on this financial statement.
Wednesday’s statement was a chance for the Chancellor to rebuild his brand after being described as a high tax – high spend chancellor by opposition rivals. However, facing considerable pressures on the public purse, and having faced demands to address rising fuel and energy prices, the Chancellor was simply not in a position to slash taxes overnight (fuel duty being the exception), nor was he given the political capital to reduce public spending dramatically. This was no mean feat.
We had been told by the Treasury that this wasn’t going to be a ‘policy heavy’ statement, and to a large extent, they were right. The chancellor is in a tough position given the global living standards squeeze, inflation, soaring energy costs, COVID and the war in Ukraine, not to mention a potentially difficult political situation over the coming months.
Labour claims that the measures contained in Sunak’s Spring Statement were nowhere near enough to offset the higher cost of living. Many expect that he will have to offer a much bigger household rescue package in the autumn, as runaway inflation and higher energy bills bite. He has also been challenged by business groups such as the CBI, who responded by saying that the Government needs to get moving straight away with “a relentless campaign for economic growth.” However, the reception from the business community as a whole, has largely been positive.
However, having been faced with largely negative press in advance of the Statement and with expectations of what the Chancellor would and could do low, by raising the National Insurance contribution threshold and decreasing fuel duty, the Chancellor did enough to get approval from some on his party’s backbenches.
The loudest cheer of the day came at the end of the 28 minute statement as he promised a penny off income tax by 2024, the first time the basic rate of income tax will be cut in 16 years. This was a further nod to the Chancellor’s ambition of wanting people to keep more of the money they earn, all timed perfectly for the next election!
Perhaps he has given away just enough to keep his party happy, whilst ensuring responsible fiscal decisions are taken. It looks like he’ll keep all the big announcements for the Autumn budget this year, slightly closer to the next General Election!
Our top 3 takeaways from the Spring Statement:
Mr Sunak wants to be seen as a tax cutting Chancellor as he announced the basic income tax will go from 20 percent to 19 percent by the end of Parliament in 2024
Chancellors always have to do something newsworthy on days like these. The news that fuel duty will be cut by five pence made the front pages the next day (with the obligatory PR pic)
Sunak had to listen to his back benches and cabinet colleagues in the days leading up to the Statement. This resulted in a change to the upcoming rise in National Insurance, the income threshold at which point people start paying it will rise to £12,570 in July
If you would like to speak to us about the Spring Statement, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with Matthew Morrison.
The BECG Group, including BECG, Cavendish Advocacy and Liberty One, were pleased to receive high commendation in their category for Best Agency for Public Affairs on 17th February.
The award took into account our continued growth within the business and our commitment to our new and existing clients.
The Group has had a successful start to the year after being announced as finalists in the PRCA Workplace Champions Award as well as the BECG Birmingham team being shortlisted for an award by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce for their work in 2021.
We shape key messages and position a brand to grab the attention of the right politicians and civil servants. Cavendish has broad experience of raising company profiles – whether that is through supporting thought leadership work, providing expert input to shape government policy or organising and managing Parliamentary roundtables, dinners and engagement programmes.
On 2nd February 2022, DLUHC released the Government’s flagship Levelling Up White Paper.
In the Government’s own words, this sets out “a complete ‘system change’ of how government works that will be implemented to level up the UK” and is “the largest devolution of power from Whitehall to local leaders across England in modern times”.
This system change is complemented by 12 missions that bring with them substantial investment to alter the UK’s status as one of the most regionally unequal countries in Europe.
Our expert panel discussed the potential implications of the white paper and invited questions from attendees.
Our panel speakers included:
Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands
Lord Bob Kerslake, Former Head of the Civil Service
Jan Bessell, Board Chair of the National Infrastructure Planning Association
Steve Norris (Chair), Advisor to BECG
The webinar was chaired by Steve Norris, a prominent Conservative and businessman who has held several ministerial roles, as well as having stood as the Conservative candidate for the Mayor of London in 2000 and 2004. Steve is also an advisor to BECG.