GTTW is back after the long summer break. Now we have a date for the Autumn Statement (23rd November), I hope our regular briefs give you useful insights into Westminster and Whitehall over the coming weeks. Here’s our note for today…
The independent Bank of England is about to launch a new corporate bond purchase scheme. This is a version of quantitative easing and, while it sounds dry, has attracted media attention because some of the firms receiving the cash are being heavily scrutinised. More widely, this is just the latest new political power for the bank – with no corresponding increase in its political oversight. Clashes between Mark Carney and Jacob Rees-Mogg frequently enliven Today In Parliament but they’re not the same as Government control.
HMG is recruiting trade negotiators from New Zealand and Australia because we don’t have enough experienced Brits to carry out Brexit talks. The new recruits could boost UK sectors that tally with big industries back home – or they could raise the prospect of mixed loyalties (it’s also worth noting more than 30% of Australia’s exports are sold to China). Either way we need them, so the Government has no choice but to manage the risk.
The Cabinet Office has published “social value procurement” case studies, which will increase pressure on private sector suppliers to deliver public policy goals. The case studies “proved” that suppliers can provide “social value outcomes at almost no extra cost”. As this Government hasn’t got any more money than the last one, it means bidders for big public sector contracts will have to add ever more to their pitch to win Government business.
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