In this week’s newsletter
- What happened at COP27
- Are school standards slipping?
- Is Britain losing its competitive edge?
Taking back control. Immigration was hot on the lips of both party leaders at their speeches to the CBI this week. This is the right political focus. As Onward research has shown, three quarters of constituencies think immigration has ‘undermined’ rather than ‘enriched’ society, and Conservative Red Wall voters are three times as likely to think immigration has undermined society (61%) than enriched it (17%).
Requiring Improvement. Outstanding schools are being inspected once more. Following an average of 13 years without inspection, just 14% of primary schools and 25% of secondary schools inspected have kept their ‘outstanding’ ratings, a report by Ofsted has shown. As Onward’s report Lost Learning highlighted, it is vital we hold the best schools accountable for driving up performance rather than letting them off the hook while we bear down on the poorest performers.
Cop Out? A major victory from COP26 last year was an agreement for countries to update their climate targets (known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs) on a yearly basis, rather than every five years. But just 29 nations submitted updated NDCs for COP27 this year, with 163 nations failing to do so. Current NDCs would put the world on track for 2.5 degrees of warming – well above the target of 1.5 degrees.
Catapult Catch Up. In a boost for R&D, last week’s Autumn Statement confirmed funding for the UK’s nine Catapult Centres will increase by 35%. But as our recent report on R&D tax credits showed, we’ve still got a long way to go to rebalance our innovation investment towards big strategic bets. The UK invests 4.1 times more in R&D tax reliefs compared to direct investment in R&D. Across the OECD, the average is 1.5 times more. In the US, where they actively support areas like defence and aerospace, it’s only 0.9 times more.
News and media
Adam Hawksbee’s response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement featured in Politico, The Sun, The Telegraph, and ConHome. He also wrote an op-ed on the Statement for City AM, and discussed it on the The Rundown podcast by PoliticsHome and Bloomberg Radio.
Looking towards the future of the Conservative Party, The Telegraph cited our recent report, The Road to Credibility by Onward fellow Tim Pitt.
Onward’s Head of Energy and Climate, Ed Birkett, was quoted in The Telegraph in a piece discussing electricity markets reform.
Onward’s After Hours event was covered in The Spectator.
Next Wednesday we are hosting a panel event with John Penrose MP, Flint’s Meera Vadher and Onward’s Ed Birkett and Adam Hawksbee to discuss how to fix Britain’s competition regime, focusing on energy, business and transport.
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