Events Roundup: April and May | IPT

This month we were very pleased to welcome an array of guest speakers, covering an array of topics, but none more special than the Chief Economist at the Bank of England, Andy Haldane. He was joined by and Vandita Pant, Group Treasurer and Head of Europe, BHP and Rachel Reeves, Chair of the BEIS Select Committee. They were discussing Business Purpose – you can read more about what attendees discussed below.


Talk of the Town

On Monday 29 April, the Industry and Parliament Trust hosted the dinner discussion ‘Talk of the Town: The Future of the UK High Street’. It was chaired by Jake Berry MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth and the speakers were Professor Christof Backhaus, Professor and Chair of Marketing and Strategy at Aston Business School, and Clayton Hirst, Group Head of Corporate Affairs at John Lewis. The central theme explored at the dinner was how the Government could work with industry to secure the future of UK High Streets.

The attendees discussed:

  • How we should carefully plan high streets, considering excess retail space due to the growing number of online retailers, and the benefits of alternative usage of space.
  • Due to the diversity at the local high street level, a “one fits all” approach may not necessarily be effective and that empowering people at the local level to engage in decision-making was vital.
  • Business retail rates and whether it currently places too great of a burden on high street stops - alternative forms of taxation and how this issue is dealt with in other countries was discussed.

We caught up with one of our guest speakers, Christof Backhaus, to find out about his views on the topic. Listen to our podcast below.




It Doesn’t Have to be Taxing

Tuesday 30 April 2019, the IPT hosted a Breakfast Meeting entitled ‘The Future of Tax in a Digital Economy’, held in the House of Commons. The event was chaired by Peter Dowd MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He was joined by speakers, Dr Giorgia Maffini, Tax Policy and Transfer Pricing, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Andrew Harding, Chief Executive, Management Accounting, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

The attendees discussed:

  • Possible modernisations to the current method of tax collection from companies
  • Whether the OECD’s proposals to reform international taxation, focusing on taxing where the customer resides, can be successfully implemented.
  • The difficulty in ascertaining what aspects of technological services should be taxed.


Are Biofuels the Way Forward?

On Tuesday 30 April, the Industry and Parliament Trust hosted the dinner discussion ‘Biofuels in a Renewable Future’. The discussion was chaired by Drew Hendry MP, Select Committee on Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and was joined by Khurram Gaba, Policy Planning Executive, Exxon Mobil Fuels & Lubricants, and Dr Vesna Najdanovic, Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering, Lancaster University. The attendees considered the role the UK and biofuels should play in meeting emission reduction targets.

The attendees discussed:

  • The importance of meeting emission targets and evaluated the ability of biofuels to address climate change
  • Considered different ways to incentivise both the consumer and manufacturer to use more clean and sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels
  • Whether more government regulation and a long-term strategy will be necessary to further facilitate carbon capture, storage and use going forward.


There’s Something in the Air

Tuesday 07 May 2019, the IPT hosted a Breakfast Meeting entitled ‘Sustainable Cities: Tackling Air Pollution’, held in the House of Commons. This event was run in partnership with the City of London Corporation. The event was chaired by Lord Whitty, President, Environmental Protection UK. He was joined by speakers Jeremy Simons, Chair of Port Health and Environment Services Committee, City of London Corporation and Darren White, Head of Sustainability, Tideway.

The attendees discussed:

  • How solutions to problems do not necessarily incur additional costs of individuals and business
  • The potential for stronger short-term targets in order to ensure long-term carbon emission targets are manageable.
  • The importance of local involvement, particularly councils in implementing policies tailored for local areas and resourcing challenges.


Building Sustainable Retirement Savings

On Wednesday 08 May 2019, the IPT hosted the breakfast meeting ‘Good Retirement: Building Sustainable Retirement Savings’. Richard Graham MP, Vice-Chair, Pensions All-Party Parliamentary Group, chaired the event and was joined by speakers Nigel Peaple, Director of Policy and Research, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, and Jamie Jenkins, Head of Global Savings Policy, Standard Life. The discussion focused on how the Government and industry can work together to ensure consumers are well protected and saving enough for retirement.

The attendees discussed:

  • How to build public confidence in the pensions industry and increase financial education on the costs following retirement, especially of long-term care provision.
  • The potential of future technology to make pensions data more easily accessible and increase available guidance and information tools, especially surrounding any significant changes.
  • The challenges facing people on lower incomes to navigate their current monetary obligations and trying to get on to the housing ladder, while also being asked to increase their pension contributions.


The Future of Free to Air Broadcasting

On Monday 13 May 2019, the IPT hosted the dinner discussion ‘The Future of Free to Air Broadcasting’.  The event was chaired by Julie Elliot MP, Select Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. She was joined by Magnus Brooke, Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at ITV, and Clare Sumner, Director of Policy at BBC. The dinner was attended by members of the House of Commons and House of Lords as well as representatives from industry.


The attendees discussed:

  • The shifts in the entertainment industry due to technological advances and changes in consumer behaviour
  • How public service broadcasting and entertainment plays a role in social campaigns and providing a sense of place
  • Whether the regionalising of broadcasters can lead to economic growth, develop new creative hubs and create jobs.


Linking Shareholder and Social Value

Tuesday 14 May 2019, the IPT hosted a Dinner Discussion entitled ‘Business Purpose in the 21st Century’, held in the House of Commons. The event was chaired by Rachel Reeves, Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee. She was joined by speakers Andy Haldane, Chief Economist and Executive Director, Monetary Analysis and Statistics, Bank of England and Vandita Pant, Group Treasurer and Head of Europe, BHP.

Attendees discussed:

  • Whether Britain’s corporate culture encourages ‘short-termism’ rather than long-term investment
  • How shareholder value is linked to social value, particularly regarding benefits produce in the local area in which business operates
  • If shareholders in the UK are sufficiently engaged in company affairs and to what extent they can potentially play a role in issues such as remuneration.


Tackling the Skills Gap

On Wednesday 15 May 2019, the IPT hosted a Breakfast Meeting entitled ‘Tackling the Skills Gap: Preparing for Future Employability’. The discussion was chaired Daniel Ziechner, member of the Select Committee on Transport. He was joined by Emma Crowe, Vice-President of Human Resources, DXC Technology and Professor of Work and Employment at Leicester University, Professor Peter Nolan. A central theme explored at the breakfast was how the UK can prepare and reskill the current and future workforce when technological advancements are unpredictable.

At the breakfast, attendees discussed:

  • Whether the developments in AI Technologies will cause gradual or more dramatic changes to the workforce in the UK
  • What we can learn from countries like Germany that put a high value on teaching professional skills
  • The importance of increasing the number of women in STEM subjects from an early age.


Urban Logistics: coordinating couriers and other logistic companies

Monday 20 May 2019, the IPT hosted a Dinner Discussion entitled ‘Sustainable Cities: Urban Logistics’, held in the House of Commons. The event was chaired by Ruth Cadbury MP, Transport Select Committee. She was joined by Ian Clough, Managing Director for Network Logistics and Transport at DHL Supply Chain and Professor Arne Strauss, Associate Professor at the Warwick Business School and the Alan Turing Institute. The Dinner was attended by members of the House of Commons and House of Lords as well as representatives from industry.

During the dinner, attendees discussed:

  • The impact of the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone in London on urban logistics operations and whether this has driven further investment in green technology.
  • If more can be done to coordinate logistics companies sharing storage space in inner city areas.
  • What potential impact electric vehicles could have on reducing logistics emissions, and whether a commercially viable range of electric vehicles that can be used on a large-scale is available.


The Legal Sector Post-Brexit

On Tuesday 21 May 2019, the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a dinner discussion titled 'The Legal Sector Post-Brexit'. The discussion was chaired for Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Shadow Solicitor General and Minister for Security, and was joined by Professor Adam Cygan, Professor of Law at University of Leicester and Kate Gibbons, Finance and Capital Markets Partner at Clifford Chance. The attendees discussed the impact of Brexit on the legal sector and how the Government and industry manage the transition to leave the European Union effectively.

During the dinner attendees:

  • Considered the current reputation of English law and qualifications and how Brexit will impact Britain’s ability to compete internationally as a legal services and education provider.
  • Discussed potential frameworks that could retain mutual recognition of professional qualifications and ability to practice and how the Government can support the industry in recruiting and retaining a well-qualified workforce
  • Explored the implications of dynamic alignment with EU directives post-Brexit and other potential frameworks for practicing law and professional qualifications.