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What’s Onward This Week

Sir Keir Starmer, Sir Ed Davey and Richard Tice kicked off the year setting out their election pitches this week. But Rishi Sunak has confirmed he will not fire the official general election starting gun for a few months yet. In what will undoubtedly be another intense political year, there’ll be a clamouring for new ideas on all sides before going to the country. 

For the Conservatives, forging a new appeal to their missing millennial voters, who feel overtaxed, poorly housed, and priced out of starting families, will determine the party’s future. Onward’s New Deal for Parents is one of our 2024 initiatives focusing on these voters’ priorities and generating new ideas to support young families. We’re launching the project on 15 January in Westminster – and we hope you’ll join us.


✍️ Research

Farmers are in trouble. They can’t afford to go green, but Britain can’t afford for them not to. Two-fifths earn less than £25,000 a year. Food exports have fallen by 13% since Brexit. Agriculture’s emissions have only dropped by 2% since 2010 despite almost all other sectors reducing by at least a tenth. Farms are also responsible for polluting more rivers and lakes than water companies. 

Decades of nature-wrecking EU subsidies, low investment, and farm-squeezing supermarket deals have left English farming in a precarious state. Onward’s latest report, Greener Pastures, investigates these root causes and makes nine recommendations to put English agriculture on a sustainable footing, including reforming the Government’s nature-friendly farm subsidies to reward the most ambitious farmers. 

The Times and Farmers Weekly covered the paper’s proposals to make England’s post-Brexit farm subsidies simpler and more generous, helping more farmers tackle pollution. The Daily Express reported on farming’s growing demographic crisis and Onward’s proposals to help aspiring young farmers get started. In the Yorkshire Post, North Yorkshire’s mayoral candidates backed Onward’s call for an alternative-protein innovation cluster in the region.


📰 Media Mentions

Onward Director Sebastian Payne wrote in the i about the lessons from the Horizon Post Office scandal on how the country is governed. 

Onward Deputy Director Adam Hawksbee argued in City AM that farmers need more help to go green. 

Head of Energy and Environment Ned Hammond explained why too many farms are poor and polluting in Conservative Home.

Head of Communications Cameron Smith argued council funding reform is needed to empower town hall radicals in Conservative Home


🌐 Onward Online

How can we put farmers on a sustainable footing? Ned Hammond explains

Onward is growing again in 2024. Sebastian Payne unveils our new hires, research programmes and projects.


🗓️ Upcoming Events

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We are delighted to invite you to our latest panel event to celebrate the launch of Onward’s new project A New Deal for Parents.

Both the housing and cost of living crises fall hardest on young families, while prospective parents struggle to access the fertility assistance they need. Onward research has already analysed the UK’s broken childcare system, making clear both the financial pressures it piles on parents and the barriers it erects in the path of those keen to start a family.

The New Deal for Parents project aims to set out a policy programme to make it easier to start and support a family. The Project looks to influence Government policy and develop a manifesto to help put families at the centre of politics.

This panel will bring together leading members of parliament and Onward’s researchers to discuss the nature of the problem facing young families today, how we got here, and what needs to change to make it easier to be a parent in the UK.

We hope you are able to join us.

Date: Monday 15th January
Time: 18:00- 19:00
Location: Parliament

To sign up for this event, please click here.

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Across the UK, philanthropists have been funding causes close to the hearts of communities. Their contributions have set up football clubs for at-risk youth, regenerated town centres, and advocated for a greener future.

Yet the highest earners and wealth owners are donating proportionately less and too few wealthy donors are participating in philanthropy. As one in five charities edge towards bankruptcy, philanthropy has never been more important.

This event will celebrate the launch of Onward’s upcoming philanthropy report which explores a range of key issues around simplifying Gift Aid, reforming the wealth and financial advice sector to provide better advice on philanthropy, and on government advocacy for philanthropy.

The expert panel, led by Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, will discuss how the UK can increase philanthropic funding for charities and target it towards the places and causes that stand to benefit the most.

The discussion will be followed by a short Q&A.

Date: Thursday 25th January
Time: 10:00 – 11:00
Location: Central Westminster

To sign up for this event, please click here.


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