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Delivering Legislative Impact for Members in Parliament

Kings Speech.jpgIn May 2022, The Prince of Wales delivered the last Queen’s Speech, announcing a bumper package of 38 Bills to be introduced to Parliament, including flagship legislation promised in the 2019 General Election manifesto. It would certainly be fair to say that the 2022/23 parliamentary session that followed will be remembered as one of the most unprecedented and turbulent periods in British political history. With three Prime Ministers, innumerable Ministerial resignations and Cabinet re-shuffles, economic uncertainty, the fallout from the mini-Budget, the cost of living crisis, a change in Leadership for the SNP Westminster Group, consistent 20 point poll leads for the Labour Party and of course, the sad passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

As we look ahead to the final session of this Parliament it is an ideal opportunity to take stock of what we have collectively achieved on behalf of our members in the last 18 months. It has been an intensive period of parliamentary engagement on key legislation for our world-leading sector, with Bills of vital importance for our General Insurance, Long-Term Savings and Health & Protection members. 

Delivering impact on key legislation for our sector:

  • Through extensive engagement with MPs and Members of the House of Lords, regular briefings, evidence to the Public Bill Committee and Treasury Select Committee, we improved the plans for the new regulatory framework in the Financial Services and Markets Act. As a result of intensive industry engagement, important amendments were secured giving the Treasury greater powers to review the regulators performance against the new growth and competitiveness objective. Crucially the Act also gives Treasury the power to implement Solvency UK reform and increase parliamentary scrutiny of the regulators. We were repeatedly namechecked throughout the passage of the Act for our calls on Solvency UK reform and on the new objective.

  • We led the charge, as part of a cross-sector campaign, for the inclusion of paid for fraudulent advertising and user generated activity within the scope of the Online Safety Act. We briefed extensively throughout the Bill’s extended passage through three changes in government to ensure that government support remained, and these important reforms were delivered. The Act will have significant impact and benefit in protection insurance and long-term savings providers customers.

  • In early 2022 we hosted a member roundtable with Richard Holden MP as he drafted and started his campaign for the Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) Act. Throughout the passage of the Act we worked very closely with the lead parliamentarians, DWP Ministers and officials to highlight industry support and secure a commitment for the guidance on automatic enrolment extension to be published.

  • As the National Security Bill entered the House of Lords last year we mounted a campaign with key members of the House of Lords to express significant concern about the impact the new Foreign Influence Registration Scheme could have on legitimate business interests and engagement. Working closely with members and Home Office officials, amendments were passed to our industry impacted by potential negative unintended consequences of the final National Security Act.

  • Throughout the passage of the Retained EU Law Act we consistently raised concerns about the impact of the 2023 sunset clause could have on insurers and long-term savings providers and the burden this would create to ensure members could respond to the pace of regulatory challenge. Important amendments provided more clarity on the regulatory dashboard and extend the timescales for the review and replacement of EU Law, as a direct result of cross-industry engagement.

  • Through briefings, industry roundtables and meetings with MPs and Peers we raised the profile of our industry’s priorities on planning reform and flood protection during the passage of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act. The government recognised the importance of flood risk within the new Environmental Outcomes process and the Act will now be followed by a review of the National Planning Policy Framework – an important opportunity for us to engage on our sectors flood priorities and push for reform.

  • Following the government’s commitment in the Spring Budget to pushing ahead with OECD Pillar Two reforms before global tax rules are set, we continued to campaign on industry concerns about the potential impact on the UK’s competitiveness. Working with Conservative backbench MPs and members, we pushed for amendments to the Finance Act 2023 and secured commitment from government for further impact assessments to be published on the impact of OECD Pillar Two reforms.

  • Before introducing his Private Members Bill to Parliament, we met with Sir Mark Hendrick and held a roundtable with our mutual members to discuss our sectors priorities for the Friendly Societies, Co-Operatives and Mutuals Act. Our collective engagement on the Act ensured government support and commitment to the importance of the Mutuals sector in the UK economy, with measures also introduced through the passage of the Financial Services and Markets Act.

  • We worked with officials and members to ensure that industry views on the new failure to prevent offence in the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act were well understood. We briefed into debates on amendments with our concern about extension of the new offence to money laundering, which were then removed from the Bill.

What we have delivered, working together to drive change, over the last parliament will help establish an effective regulatory and tax environment for the UK and support our strategic outcome of making a positive impact for people and planet. While the 2023/24 session will likely be much lighter on primary legislation of direct impact for our sector, there are still vital industry priorities to be delivered on. We will continue to work with members and all key stakeholders to ensure the effective implementation of secondary legislation, including on the Solvency UK regime ahead of the next General Election.

Last updated 06/11/2023