The October lobbying update from BOSS
At time of writing, the Labour Conference has been and gone and the Tories have arrived in Manchester for their annual shindig. Going into the conference, the prime minister is preparing the public for a difficult winter, describing the various supply chain issues as a post-Brexit, post-COVID ‘period of adjustment.’
Business leaders too have warned of an ‘autumn storm’ of shortages, costs and taxes, with key data due this week from the British chambers of commerce on rising costs and skills shortages. With a budget later in the month, some of his own MPs are calling for changes to business rates to be made to avoid high street shop closures. Also looking ahead, the chancellor refused to rule out income tax rises, council tax hikes and short-term visas for more shortage occupations.
Rather quietly, the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill has passed through the House of Commons and is now awaiting debate by the House of Lords. This innocuous-sounding piece of legislation will scrap the Fixed Term Parliaments Act established in 2011 and means the government can return to the former system of calling general elections at a time of its choosing. This means the next election, currently set in stone for May 2024, could be brought forward. Watch this space…