Public policy

Broader global public policy trends and issues increasingly shape the regulatory landscape

A growing trust gap between governments, businesses and society is forcing rule-makers, regulators and elected officials to listen to what people care about most – more and more, they want societal issues to be addressed – everything from cybersecurity and data privacy to climate change and labour standards. They are also increasingly influenced by global institutions, including the OECD, UN and World Bank

As a result, companies can no longer afford to ignore social responsibility and societal issues that intersect with their business, and the regulatory environment is changing in response.

At PwC, building trust is fundamental to our purpose, and we are engaging in the ongoing debates on important developments on the public policy agenda. You can find more information and the insights we bring below.

Key themes

Corruption is seen by many stakeholder groups as the single biggest issue facing society today.

As it is  recognised as an impediment to economic growth, preventing fraud, money laundering and corruption continues to be a focus for G7 and G20 meetings. It has also gained much attention from NGOs and is  driving government action - all underpinned by public sentiment.

With this attention has come an increasing volume of legislative action and we are likely to see greater public adoption of international standards on financial reporting, auditing and ethics.

The standard issued by IESBA addressing non-compliance with laws and regulations (NOCLAR) will raise the ethical bar for the global accountancy profession and increase the emphasis on the duties and responsibilities of auditors and advisors in this area.

Expect momentum to keep building, as there is still some way to go to tackling corruption.

Visit our forensics page for our predictions for the next five years and beyond, and more of the latest insights.

The fight against tax avoidance and the tax morality debate is a high priority among both national and international policy makers.

The proposals of the OECD and European Commission to limit tax avoidance (the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting-proposals) are broadly accepted and will be implemented shortly. And concerns regarding the fairness of the international tax system and the stability of tax revenues have lead to a call for country by country reporting.

Reform such as this, driven by diverse stakeholder interest, is needed to put the international tax rules for businesses on pace with today’s world. Only then can the trust in the tax system be restored.

At PwC, we contribute our experience and expertise when policy-makers seek to develop and adapt tax, legal & regulatory systems for the future. We provide valuable insights within a challenging tax environment and are also promoting the debate around what people really want from their tax regime.

Our Global Tax Code of Conduct serves as a guide for our people given the global nature of business together with the need to navigate the complexity and competing priorities of national laws.

Technology, innovation and the future of work

The pace of change is accelerating and technology, including artificial intelligence, brings many implications for the future of work, including nature of jobs, skills needed, and how work and employment are undertaken. Our Workforce of the future study explores what this future will look like, through four possible Worlds of Work for 2030.

New trust gaps will be created and, alongside today’s approaches, new technology-enabled ways of providing confidence in data will develop. In our Confidence in the future series, we explore what this means and share our point of view.

Developments like these point to more activity and uncertainty in the regulatory environment ahead. 

Establishing sustainability is a major focus for many stakeholders, including society at large.

Increasingly wider stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, governments and society, are viewing companies through the lens of sustainability and climate change.

A number of new regulations are being introduced globally as a result, including recommendations for climate related reporting and disclosures. We explore this further in our sustainability and climate change blog.

As this moves up the boardroom agenda, it is increasingly being integrated into corporate level strategic planning. For more insights and the latest developments, visit our sustainability page.

Our sustainability and climate change tax specialists can help make sense of the impact of this so that you can make informed and strategic decisions. 

Contact us

Michael Stewart

Michael Stewart

Global Corporate Affairs and Communications Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Gilly Lord

Gilly Lord

Global Leader, Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs, PwC United Kingdom

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