This Queen’s Speech hasn’t been what Theresa May expected when she called the election two months ago. However, there are some initial good (and a few bad) initial reactions from business.
The Confederation for British Industry have said that it’s “good to see that the recent heatwave has warmed the Government’s view of business and its contribution to people’s lives.” In their initial response to the Queen’s Speech they have said that “this welcome change in tone needs to be backed by clarity and action now. Firms will expect all politicians to put pragmatism before politics, starting with Brexit. Fast action on Industrial Strategy, skills and infrastructure will show that the UK is a great place to do business. But now it’s all about pace.”
The Association for British Insurers have responded to a wide range of issues in the Queen’s speech on twitter. As well as whiplash and pensions, they have welcomed the Government’s suggested reform to financial guidance.
Federation of Small Businesses have welcomed the commitment to work with business, their plans to move forward Industrial Strategy and their support for technical education, vocational training and apprenticeships to help close the skills gap. Mike Cherry, the FSB National Chairman, has welcomed “the ambition to provide certainty for business as we head towards Brexit, and the commitment to low taxation. But it’s disappointing this Queen’s Speech was light on other domestic measures to support small businesses.”
The Institute for Economic Affairs has been much more negative about the Queen’s speech and have attacked the Government’s record on the deficit and the exclusion of some manifesto promises.
Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:
“The Government’s action doesn’t match up to their rhetoric. While the Queen’s speech promised fiscal responsibility, the Government’s track record to close the budget deficit is woeful. And talk of delivering hugely expensive projects like HS2 somewhat jars with this promise – public spending should be reduced where possible, not spent on vanity projects that make no economic sense.
“There is also cause for concern about certain manifesto promises that were not included. But further state interventions in labour and energy markets, including a price cap, are still in play and would do more harm than good to both businesses and consumers.
“The focus on preparations for Brexit is welcome and at least the Queen’s speech has promised to press ahead with consulting on the much-needed reforms of social care. This is vital to correct intergenerational inequality and mitigate a huge risk to future taxpayers.”