The Queen's Speech: what it means for business | The Queen's Speech: what it means for business | DMA

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The Queen's Speech: what it means for business


The first Tory government for almost two decades revealed its parliamentary agenda today. Not all of the 26 bills will have an impact on business, but we consider the possible implications of some of the new legislation.

Prime Minister David Cameron said, "We have a golden opportunity to renew the idea that working people are backed in this country; to renew the promise to those least fortunate that they will have the opportunity for a brighter future; and to renew the ties that bind every part of our United Kingdom. We now have the mandate to deliver that renewal."

Bills to consider are:

Full Employment and Welfare Benefits Bill

This Bill aims to promote employment by reducing state benefits. This will be done through:

  • Freezing working age benefits, tax credits and child benefit. Statutory benefits such as maternity pay, paternity pay or adoption pay would be exempted.
  • Lowering the benefit cap from benefits for non-working families to £23,000.
  • 'Earn or learn' for young people with automatic right to housing benefit scrapped for those aged 18-21.

Enterprise Bill

This Bill aims to cut red tape for small businesses and reward entrepreneurship, generating £10bn in savings.

  • Increase deregulation to include regulators, which must be more transparent to better suit business.
  • Creation of a Small Business Conciliation Service to settle business disputes.
  • Improvement in the business rates system before revaluation in 2017.

Personal Tax Allowance

To make those working 30 hours per week and earning the minimum wage pay no income tax.

  • Raise the personal allowance to £12,500.
  • This will be reviewed annually in the Finance Bill.

Tax lock commitment – National Insurance Contributions Bill/Finance Bill

Fulfils manifesto commitment to not raise taxes in National Insurance, VAT or income tax.

  • Makes no mention of other taxes in the system, so the door remains open to further tax increases.

Childcare Bill

For those with kids, the bill will offer free childcare to those working 30 hours per week or more for three and four year olds, for 38 weeks of the year.

  • Local authorities will have to publish information on childcare provision in the area.

Immigration Bill

To reduce the need for immigrant labour and removing illegal migrants.

  • According to the supporting documents, "A consultation will be carried out on funding apprenticeship schemes for British and EU workers by implementing a new visa levy on businesses that use foreign labour."

European Union Referendum Bill

To arrange a referrendum on membership of the European Union.

  • An in-out vote before the end of 2017.

Bank of England Bill

To reform the Bank of England and make it more accountable

  • No details yet, but to be based on the findings of the Warsh review.
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