Business and Other Briefings

CC: The Competition Commission (CC) has published a provisional decision regarding the remedies it is considering introducing when it publishes its final report on the supply of statutory audit services to large companies in the UK this autumn.
In a summary of its provisional decision on remedies, the CC has put forward a package of measures to promote competition and to ensure that competition is directed towards satisfying the demands of shareholders.

The remedy package includes measures to improve the bargaining power of companies and encourage rivalry between audit firms; measures to enhance the influence of the Audit Committee; and measures to promote shareholder engagement in the audit process.
Press release & links
WAG: The Welsh Government’s pilot Energy and Environment SME Growth Fund – designed to support the growth of businesses in this key sector - has been extended to include support for capital investments.
Applications for the £ 590,000 Fund are invited for projects with eligible costs ranging from £4,000 up to a maximum of £100,000.  Businesses applying for the non repayable finance will need to provide a minimum of 50% match funding.  Further details are available on the Business Wales website.
Press release ~ Energy and Environment SME Growth Fund ~ Business for Wales
BIS: A new scheme introduced last week gives businesses a stronger voice in influencing how regulators change the way they work.  Under the new Accountability for Regulator Impact scheme non-economic regulators that are planning a significant change in policy or practice – for example, by updating guidance or inspection regimes - will assess & quantify the impact of that change on business.
They will then share & discuss these assessments with trade associations and other business representatives before carrying out the proposed changes.
Press release & links ~ New Regulators’ Code will shape new partnership with business
HMT: A new £10m prize to incentivise the development of the next generation of ultra low emission cars has been announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander during a visit to McLaren.  The prize will only be targeted at technology for everyday cars that are comparable in price to conventionally fuelled cars, in order to ensure the next generation of low-emission cars are affordable for all.
The competition will start by the end of 2013 and will be open to all including businesses, universities and engineering experts.
Press release & links
SFA: The National Apprenticeship Service has launched new measures designed to help guide employers through the process of recruiting an apprentice.  This followed the announcement of the extension of the £1,500 Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16-24 year olds for another year.  
Two new films, ‘How to hire an apprentice’ and ‘Why hire an apprentice’, have been launched on to guide employers through the process of recruiting an apprentice.
Press release & links
BISEmployers could be funded directly to purchase the apprenticeship training they want as part of proposals which will put businesses in the driving seat – See ‘Consultations’ section for more information.
Press release & links ~ CBI backs apprenticeship skills credit
HMRCRevenue & Customs Brief 20/13
R&C brief informing operators of some combined heat and power stations of changes to their carbon price support tax liability.
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