by GK Strategy 26th May, 2015

Queen’s Speech – 7 likely highlights

Ahead of the Queen’s Speech tomorrow with all the pomp and pageantry Parliament can muster, GK have looked at what is likely to be set out for the coming year. With the Conservative’s small majority, the Government may struggle to implement the entirety of the agenda and some issues such as welfare reform and boundary changes are sure to prove contentious. The main policies that are expected to be covered are:

EU Referendum – One of the Conservative Party’s flagship policies and historically dividing lines, the Queen’s speech should outline the in/out referendum promised by the end of 2017. This follows on from the talks that Mr Cameron has held at Chequers this week with Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the EU Commission.

Tax Cuts for low earners – A Bill is expected to be announced outlining a permanent tax-free minimum wage. This, as promised by the previous government, will raise the earnings threshold at which people begin paying income tax to £12,500, up from the current level of £10,600.

Enterprise Bill – Following the Business Secretary Sajid Javid’s announcements last week, this Bill is aimed at cutting red tape for small businesses as part of what the Conservatives say will be a drive to remove £10bn worth of regulations from enterprise over the next five years.

Apprenticeships – Another of the Conservative’s key pledges, a new law will create three million more apprenticeships, something which forms an integral part of the party’s aim of achieving full employment.

Welfare Reform – In their manifesto, the Conservatives said they will find £12 billion from welfare savings, on top of the £21 billion of savings delivered in this Parliament. The speech may contain further information on how they plan to do this and will be monitored closely, particularly in relation to the contentious Work Programme.

Housing Bill – a Housing Bill will extend the Right to Buy to 1.3 million housing association tenants and more details are expected on the 200,000 new Starter Homes exclusively for first-time buyers under 40 promised in the Conservative manifesto.

Human Rights Act – as has been publicised recently, the Conservatives have said they will scrap the Human Rights Act and legislate for a new British Bill of Rights.

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