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Service Industries

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL13474, tabled on 5 February 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to improve growth in the UK services sector.

Answered on

13 February 2019

The Professional and Business Services (PBS) sector contributed £199.3bn, almost 11%, of UK GVA in 2017, and the financial and insurance sectors contributed £131bn. From 2010 to 2017, annualised GVA growth in PBS was 5.5% which exceeded total UK growth (2.0%) by 3.5 percentage points. The Government is committed to ensuring the sector continues this success.

The industry-led Professional and Business Services Council (PBSC) is made up of representatives from the PBS sector, and has a number of working groups focusing on important issues and opportunities for growth in the sector. The council also contributes to Government reviews and consultations such as the Blackett Review - Services Transformed: Growth Opportunities for the UK Service Economy, a report by the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser. The council is a well-established and respected forum that informs and challenges government on key issues facing the sector.

Further, the Government is helping the sector to innovate and grow through a number of initiatives. Firstly, in April last year, my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced £20 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to help the service industry take advantage of new technologies. £3 million of this fund was allocated to projects in November last year and the rest of the fund will be allocated to further support the sector in due course.

Secondly, the Secretary of State has invested £10 million in regulator-led initiatives to support new products and services to come to market through the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, as part of the Government’s commitment to creating the regulatory environment for innovation to thrive. Projects include a Solicitors Regulation Authority-led initiative to support the development of ethical AI-powered legal services and a Financial Conduct Authority-led project to scope a single access point for innovators looking to test new services that involve multiple regulators.