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What’s Onward This Week

Two steps forward, one step back. Rishi Sunak has crossed off his first objective from his five-point plan: halving inflation. His long-awaited reshuffle went reasonably smoothly, delivering the surprise return of David Cameron as Foreign Secretary. But the Supreme Court ruling against the Rwanda plan has set back efforts to stop the boats.

The packed political week has seen many jump to unusual conclusions. Some have heralded or criticised a return to the “centre ground” — not recognising that the centre of gravity in British politics has fundamentally shifted in the last ten years. A reheated Cameroon agenda would be just as unpopular with the electorate as Trussism proved. The centre ground has moved, and the Government needs to move with it. 

✍️ Research

Britain’s fragmented and short-sighted pensions aren’t working for start-ups or savers. Pensions make up just 10% of venture capital in the UK compared to 72% in the USA. British schemes also invest 15 times less in start-ups than Canadian funds. It’s why British innovators face a £6 billion funding gap, and why the average returns for the largest pension pots in the USA, Canada and Australia are 56% higher than for UK savers.

Onward’s new report, Pension Power, written by Policy Fellow Zachary Spiro, lays out nine recommendations to unlock £20 billion of investment and add nearly £98,000 to the average worker’s pension pot by the time they retire. Backed by former Chancellor Sajid Javid, our proposals include creating a Science Superpower Fund using the British Business Bank for small and local government schemes to invest in science and technology firms. 

📰 Media Mentions

Onward Director Sebastian Payne wrote for the i about how the knee-jerk reaction to the reshuffle and Rwanda decision misunderstands the 2019 election.  

Deputy Director Adam Hawksbee wrote for ConservativeHome about how Jeremy Hunt can use the Autumn Statement to boost British manufacturing. 

Future of Conservatism Director Gavin Rice wrote for the Critic about why the media’s idea of the centre ground is wrong. 

🌐 Onward Online

Why aren’t Britain’s pensions working for start-ups and savers? Onward’s Zachary Spiro explains.

🗓️ Upcoming Events

Screenshot 2023 11 10 at 11.47.27 - Onward Newsletter 17/11/2023

We are delighted to invite you to our latest panel event to launch Onward’s upcoming paper: Pension Power: Unlocking the UK’s pensions for science and tech growth.

If the UK is to become a science superpower, it must address its capital problem. Pensions are a vital source of funding to scale up, allowing innovative tech firms to grow into multi-billion pound companies.

But in comparison to other countries, the UK pension system – currently worth almost £3 trillion – systematically under-invests in these assets. Jeremy Hunt has rightly identified this as a challenge and set out a number of interventions the Government intends to make. But more action is needed to deliver higher returns for pensions and therefore more money for today’s workers in retirement.

This event will explore why the UK pension system under-invests in the tech sector and what can be done to address this. It will introduce new research produced by Onward, and bring together a panel led by Tom Tugendhat MP, Minister for Security to chart a course for unleashing pensions to achieve the UK’s science ambitions.

Drinks will be available from 17:30 before this event begins at 18:00. The discussion will be followed by a short Q&A.

Date: Monday 20th November

Time: 18:00 – 19:00

Location: Central Westminster

To sign up for this event, please click here.

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