Greg Clark now leads the new Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Greg Clark now leads the new Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

COMMENT | Energy reshuffle presents opportunities

Since day one of her premiership, Theresa May’s aim has been to distance herself from George Osborne’s economic policy as far as possible. Not content on a mere reshuffle, May undertook a full change of Government and essentially pressed the reset button on the year that followed the 2015 general election, writes Ally Vivona of PPS Group.

One of her first announcements was the joining together of the Department of Energy & Climate Change and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills to create a Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Greg Clark leads the new department, having been replaced in his previous role at the Department for Communities & Local Government by Sajid Javid. DECC now essentially no longer exists and BIS has also seen some of its portfolio be redistributed to other departments.

It’s not only the ministers who have been switched around but the civil servants at BEIS are also playing musical chairs. Perhaps even more significant than Greg Clark’s appointment is the departure of Sir Martin Donnelly who had been Joint Permanent Secretary of BIS alongside Alex Chisholm since 2010. Chisholm is now confirmed as Permanent Secretary.

The aim of the bold and costly merger is to streamline two previously conflicting departments into having one centralised industrial strategy. It’s a bold move considering that Cameron shied away from meddling too much with established departments and it’s a strong hint of the change in mood and style of the current leadership.

We are now a few weeks into the new regime and junior ministers have had time to settle into their new roles. Now the vision has to be delivered.

The Government’s recent confirmation that Hinkley Point will go ahead with enhanced security will see the UK’s first new nuclear reactor built in two decades. Ministers for BEIS addressed the Commons for the first time in September with Greg Clark strongly hinting that there will be the rumoured new select committee, although this is still to be confirmed.

What is clear is that energy and not austerity is now at the forefront of Government policy. This influx of new people with new agendas presents a significant opportunity for businesses and developers to engage and develop relationships but the landscape has shifted and business needs to shape shift to take advantage of the new world. It’s time for a good hard look in the mirror and where needed, an autumn makeover before the Autumn Statement.

Ally Vivona, consultant, PPS Group

Ally Vivona is a consultant at PPS Group in Manchester

PPS Group

Your Comments

Only time will tell in respect of Mrs. May’s style of government.
She appears headstrong and determined to have her own way.
Its’ perhaps a good thing having regard to the present political turmoil.

By Alex Lumsden

The austerity policy of Osborne was cruel and unnecessary and the consequences of this fell on the most vulnerable people in our society. In effect people who do not vote Tory. I feel that May is more like MacMillan in her approach to policy, believing in the whole of Britain. She believes in duty, like the Queen, that it is important to govern for all.She is going to struggle with Brexit, but I for one like her. She needs a big idea. She knew like any decent person that austerity inflicted on poor people by very rich people is a recipe for insurrection.

By Elephant

“Austerity” is bringing the deficit into surplus so government doesn’t spend more than it earns! The consequence of uncontrolled spending will hit the poorest hardest with higher taxes and inflation!
The fact is that the poorest 10% of earners now pay 60% less income tax, whist those earning over 1 million have had there tax relief limited and now pay an extra 10% in tax! (HMRC source)!

By Stuart wood

Stuart –

There is a difference between a short-term budget deficit and “uncontrolled spending”.

Governmental budgetary problems don’t necessarily have to “hit the poorest hardest” – the wealthiest could share the extra tax burden rather than the poor.

60% less income tax on what wages though? Despite Gideon’s “Living Wage”, the working poor continue to stuggle to live decently, and this cannot be right.#

Those earning over 1m pay an “extra 10%” on what? Income tax? Inheritance tax? Capital gains tax? Overall? Please share your HMRC source.

By zebith

Stuart Wood you have believed the hype.Have you seen the potholes in Manchester and presumably Liverpool too? I am sure our other great cities are in the same rubbish state.I doubt Tatton has had to lose half it’s budget. In fact some Tory areas had an increase.This is a vicious attack on the working poor. Put a mansion tax on houses worth more than a million pounds if you want to raise incomes. These people, particularly in the South East have done very well out of their 3 bedroomed semi, without m
having to do a hand’s turn to increase it’s value. It has gone on too long.

By Elephant

calculated from official HMRC figures (HM Revenue & Customs, “Income tax liabilities statistics”) These can be accessed via the following links: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-tax-liabilities-statistics-tax-year-2012-to-2013-to-tax-year-2015-to-2016 and https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/428961/Income_Tax_Liabilities_Statistics_May_2015.pdf

By Stuart wood

All tax rises and uncontrolled spending hits the poorest and middle earners hardest! Not straight away,l! Inflation rises as the pins falls out of favour with investors!
governments have to pay more to service debts therefore taxes such as VAT increase, just taxing the rich (who would leave the country with their business) is never enough!
Welcome to a labour government!

By Stuart wood

Stuart – this document doesn’t say anything about those earning over £1m?

“All” tax rises hit the poorest hardest eh? Well, why not reduce all taxes to zero and then the poor will prosper, eh? Nonsense.

A high-tax economy doesn’t mean a stagnant one – look at the Nordic countries, where most people are afforded a decent quality of life. We should be ashamed at what we accept in the UK.

By zebith

That old chestnut of in the long run the poor suffering the most, is an excuse.The poorest people in the poorest communities have had the double whammy of a savaging of their public services and a huge increase in Asylum seekers. The white middle class areas where people vote Tory have got away Scot free, yet again. Of course no Tory government is going to place 2000 impoverished Asylum seekers in Harrogate or Tatton, but happy to do so in Rochdale or Bradford. It is simply wrong. It is nothing to do with your political leanings, but about common decency and fairness, which used to be the British way.Osborne believed that he would see the Phoenix rising from the ashes and we are left with just ashes. A bit like when 3 and a half million unemployed was the price worth paying for a bright economic future. Not if you were one of the unemployed.

By Elephant

Well put, Elephant.

By zebith

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