Institute of Economic Affairs
Matthew Lesh, Head of Public Policy – ‘Lacks ambition’
“The Queen’s Speech lacks ambition in the face of Britain’s immense challenges. Despite all the talk about embracing Brexit opportunities, for instance, the government is steaming ahead with legislation like the Online Safety Bill and the Digital Markets Unit that will undermine free speech and discourage the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.”
Victoria Hewson, Head of Regulatory Affairs, on the Brexit Freedoms Bill… – ‘We must stay vigilant’
“The Brexit Freedoms Bill will remove the effective supremacy of retained EU laws that now form part of domestic law. This is a necessary step towards reforming our regulatory environment, and it is encouraging that this was expressed in terms of repealing and reforming regulations. We must stay vigilant to ensure that executive powers are not abused or used to add to, rather than reduce, regulatory burdens.”
…and on plans for an independent football regulator… – ‘Unnecessary’
“It is ironic that in the same legislative programme that seeks to repeal and reform regulation and support innovation, the government is also introducing a new regulator in English football – one of Britain’s most successful and innovative sectors. This regulation is unnecessary and likely to have negative unintended consequences. It is to be hoped that the government will carry out a rigorous cost-benefit analysis, so far absent from the proposals, before proceeding with legislation.”
…and on planned reforms to data protection – ‘Changes will need to be ambitious and meaningful’
“Reforms to our data protection laws will be welcome. Research published just this week has shown the negative effects the GDPR has had on innovation in Europe. The changes will need to be ambitious and meaningful. It is possible that the EU could withdraw recognition of the adequacy or our laws in response – so businesses and civil society organisations need to see real benefits for this to be worthwhile.”
Dr Kristian Niemietz, Head of Political Economy, on planning reform – ‘This government has…unconditionally surrendered to the NIMBYs’
“The fact that the references to ‘planning reform’ concerned themselves solely with relatively minor and trivial issues confirms what we already knew: this government has given up on any serious attempts to make housing in Britain more affordable. They have, once again, unconditionally surrendered to the NIMBYs. The original reform plans, outlined in the 2020 government White Paper ‘Planning for the future’, were about making the planning system more rules-based and less discretionary, thereby reducing the excessive political power of anti-development obstructionists and troublemakers. By U-turning on those plans, the government has made clear that this is a government for the NIMBYs, by the NIMBYs. Britain’s housing crisis is at the very heart of the cost-of-living crisis. Without solving the former, there is no hope of making any progress on the latter.”
The Adam Smith Institute
Emily Fielder, Head of Communications – ‘This Queen’s Speech merely offers more of the same’
“Despite pledging to “drive growth and strengthen the economy and ease the cost of living crisis,” the Queen’s Speech announced a raft of meddling pet projects, rather than focusing on measures that can deliver meaningful change. The only growth the Government is achieving is the growth of the state.
It’s one thing to recognise that Britain desperately needs growth—it’s quite another to actually deliver it. Unfortunately, a hodge-podge list of interventions on everything from regulating football to cracking down on protests does not constitute a comprehensive government strategy. Rather than outlining a credible plan to meet its stated objectives, the Government is making more promises it doesn’t seem prepared to keep.
What was undeniably missing from the speech was immediate solutions to the cost of living crisis. No promises have been made to put pounds in the pockets of those struggling the most, as the Government are too busy cracking down on free speech online.
Our country needs bold new ideas to pull us out of the doldrums, but this Queen’s Speech merely offers more of the same.”
Migration Watch UK
Alp Mehmet, Chairman – The public ‘will remain sceptical until effective legislation is on the statute book’
“Today’s Queen Speech said the Government will aim to ‘protect the integrity of the United Kingdom’s borders and ensure the safety of its people’ and that ‘Ministers will take action to prevent dangerous and illegal Channel crossings and tackle the criminal gangs who profit from facilitating them’
“These are welcome words and will be music to the ears of the public who want proper border control. However, given the government’s record on illegal immigration over recent years, they will remain sceptical until effective legislation is on the statute book. We are a long way from that happening.”
Frank Young, Editorial Director – ‘It’s a radical Budget that is really needed’
“Today’s Queen’s Speech brings with it a tide of new legislation with 38 Bills to keep MPs busy, this is called hyper-legislating. There’s more wedge here than a slice of Edam.
Among the 38 are some eye catching reforms. Binning the Human Rights Act is long overdue but will only be meaningful if we come out of the European Convention on Human Rights too. This could tackle woke-sim in our institutions but there is a real risk we may end up with something worse.
Brexit is far from complete. Making a success of it will require more than just legislation.
The Levelling Up Bill will give the government a chance to finally deliver domestic reform before the General Election. This Bill comes with “goals” for delivery. Never bet against the reforming instincts of the Michael Gove the government’s restless reformer in chief.
The Schools Bill promises that no child will be left behind, we need to get back to Gove-esque reform. We wait and see if the department will put forward a reforming piece of legislation aimed at boosting standards.
Crime is set up to be a big area of government action, with plenty of tough sounding Bills. We’ve taken away powers to clear beggars from our streets. Downing Street radicals are planning to bring these powers straight back. Our under strength police will welcome this. But crime is the ultimate example of levelling down. We need to lock up more criminals not push more Bills through parliament.
There are lots of wedge issues here that will keep politicos and journalists busy for several years. It’s hard to spot the defining Boris legacy. The truth is at a time of economic crisis what really matters is what happens in the Treasury. The Queen’s Speech sets the government’s ‘to do’ list but it’s a radical Budget that is really needed. Today won’t change that fundamental truth.”
John O’Connell, Chief Executive – ‘Won’t help Brits struggling today’
“Welcome promises to roll back regulations, sort out procurement and reform taxes tomorrow won’t help Brits struggling today. With the cost of living crisis already crippling families and firms, taxpayers are crying out for immediate action. If the government wants to boost growth and help households, they can deliver both right now by bringing forward the planned income tax cut.”
Local Government Information Unit
Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive – ‘Incremental rather than transformative or systemic change’
“Many across local government will be left feeling somewhat underwhelmed by the measures announced in today’s Queen’s speech. Enhanced powers to regenerate high streets through compulsory purchase and a new infrastructure levy will be welcome. Giving local communities more say over development is right, in principle. However, we will need to be clear that this represents a net democratic gain compared to current practice and does not empower some parts of the community at the expense of others. Overall this feels like incremental rather than transformative or systemic change.”
Ryan Shorthouse, Chief Executive – ‘[Johnson] has one last chance to be bold’
“Boris has one last chance to be bold. The extensive legislative agenda for the coming parliamentary year provides opportunity to introduce transformative policies, especially on improving the affordability and quality of housing, boosting the economic and social infrastructure of so-called left-behind areas, and decarbonising the supply of and demand for energy.
“But the contents of the legislation will reveal just how ambitious this Conservative Government wants to be. Either it will focus on using its uniquely impressive majority to make lasting and distinctive change to level up and decarbonise this country, or it will squander it through politicking pretending to be policymaking in advance of the next election.”
Centre for Social Justice
Joe Shalam, Policy Director – ‘The social injustices facing our nation require urgent attention.’
“As we learn more each day about the hidden damage of the pandemic – and in the midst of the worst cost of living crisis since the 1970s – the social injustices facing our nation require urgent attention. Over 100,000 children are severely absent from school. With household budgets squeezed, up to a million people are resorting to dangerous illegal lenders. Seven years on from the world-leading Modern Slavery Act, too many remain at the mercy of exploitative criminals who saw lockdown as an opportunity to turn people into profit.
“The Centre for Social Justice welcomes commitments in today’s Queen’s Speech putting our recommendations into law: to direct more public procurement towards local businesses and charities; to renew the fight against economic crime and modern slavery; and to ensure more young people on the margin of the education system reach their potential. These long-term reforms will make a real difference to the lives of those who were struggling well prior to the turbulence of the last two years.
“But the fact remains: this cost of living crisis is just getting started. And those with the least to begin with will be the hardest hit. Government must now take the earliest opportunity to harness the flexibility within Universal Credit to get support directly to those worst hit by the spike in energy prices, while also helping claimants into work.”
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Rebecca McDonald, Senior Economist – ‘Deeply worrying for families on low incomes’
“Despite claims in today’s speech that easing the cost of living was a priority for this Government, there were no new support measures announced. This will be deeply worrying for families on low incomes, particularly those who have just experienced a real-terms cut to their benefits after the Government failed to uprate benefits in line with inflation last month.”
“Nevertheless, the inclusion of the long-awaited Renters Reform Bill and Social Housing Regulation Bill in today’s Queen Speech is very welcome. Together, these bills should help drive up standards and strengthen renters’ rights in both the private and social rented sectors. It is now essential that the Government works with renters to ensure the legislation is well designed and truly delivers, especially for those on low incomes.
“We remain seriously concerned that the Employment Bill, first announced in 2019, has once again not been prioritised by this Government. Ministers must explain why they have not committed to improving security and flexibility for low-paid workers when it would have boosted incomes and provided stability at a time when costs are soaring, and incomes are eroding.”
Centre for Progressive Policy
Ben Franklin, Director – ‘Another nail in the coffin of the Government’s levelling up agenda’
“Today’s Queen’s Speech represented another nail in the coffin of the Government’s levelling up agenda, with no substantial policies announced that will turn this from an ambition to reality.
“The Levelling Up Bill falls way short of the mark, failing to even attempt to address the economic challenge the government was elected to tackle. An over-reliance on small-scale funding pots for local areas is no replacement for the transformative levels of investment required to turn the tide on entrenched regional inequalities.
“Our research has found that some of the least economically developed parts of our country are those most at risk from the cost of living crisis, and the minister responsible for levelling up has admitted that rising prices are likely to deepen regional inequalities. The lack of action to tackle this urgent challenge will make the task harder still, leaving many people in desperate situations.”