With the general election now looking a dead cert for May, it’s time to think about what we want from the politicians asking for our votes
So to get the ball rolling, here’s a wish list for whichever party takes power this spring:
1. Isn’t it about time we had our very own, dedicated minister for insurance? Someone who could co-ordinate policy between all the different departments that touch on the industry, and act as a champion and figurehead at home and abroad. Many other industries with far less clout and importance to the national economy have a single point person – why not us?
2. With the flow of businesses out of the UK remaining steady, it’s time to take action on tax. Corporation tax must be competitive, and personal tax must give wealthy and successful individuals reason to come to, and stay in, this country. It’s not just tax, though. Certainty over regulation and a business-minded government can make life easier for companies (as evidenced in Dublin of late).
3. Whether the FSA stays or goes, can we ask that the people running the regulator have specialist knowledge of insurance? The people working with the industry need to understand the very different challenges that insurers and brokers face day to day. And if the Tories get their way and macro-economic regulation is handed to the Bank of England, the risk that insurance is lumped in with the banks is greater than ever.
4. The crackpot notion that pleural plaques should be made compensatable seems to have gone away at last. Can we make sure it stays that way – and perhaps try to exert a little influence north of the border, too?
5. Since commission disclosure raised its ugly head again, it has become even clearer that we need a government that’s prepared to represent the UK insurance industry on a European level, and isn’t afraid to stand up to the Eurocrats trying to drive through ever-more complicated and unnecessary regulation.
So there we have it, for starters. All these issues and more will be debated at the Insurance Times Hustings in Westminster on 29 March - click here to submit your questions. There will be speakers from all three main parties: the government’s chief secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne, Conservative MP Mark Hoban and Lib Dem MP Jeremy Browne. To register for an opportunity to attend, call Katherine Ball on 020 7618 3492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. IT