Queen's Speech 2019 - The Sequel

19th December 2019

Just nine weeks after Queen's Speech I, we have Queen's Speech II - the sequel, but this time the political landscape has fundamentally changed with an emboldened government setting out its stall for the next five years.

Brexit is of course the key measure, with seven Parliamentary bills planned on trade, agriculture, fisheries, immigration, financial services and private international law.

Key announcements in the speech:

  • To secure the UK's departure from the EU on 31 January 2020 (Brexit) and to work towards a new partnership with the EU based on free trade and friendly cooperation. - Withdrawal Bill.
  • NHS to receive an extra £33.9bn per year by 2023 and hospital parking scrapped for "those most in need".
  • Commitment to seek a cross-party resolution to social care.
  • A points-based immigration system.
  • Landlords to have more powers to gain possession of their property, and a lifetime deposit scheme for tenants so they don't need to find a new deposit every time they move
  • A pledge to cut business rates. and review the system, bring forward the next valuation review to 2021 and then move to revaluations every 3 years
  • An increase in tax credits for R&D from 12% to 13%
  • Establish a new skills fund
  • Harsher sentences of up to 14 years for the most egregious tax avoiders
  • Reform of audit and corporate reporting, including a stronger regulator
  • Acceleration of the rollout of gigabit-capable broadband
  • Leave unchanged the rates of VAT, Income Tax and NICs
  • Increase the NIC threshold to £9,500 from 6 April 2020.
  • Commitment to increase the National; Living Wage to £10.50 by 2024, lowering the age limit at which it will apply from 25 to 21
  • Devolve corporation tax to Northern Ireland once the Assembly and Executive are up and running again.
  • Introduce a plastic packaging tax via the Environment Bill
  • Greater powers for the pensions regulator
  • New home ownership scheme for first-time buyers
  • New measures to increase flexible working
  • More funding for childcare
  • Repeal of the Fixed-term Parliament Act 2011

Background notes to the Queen's Speech

New Year Budget 2020

We do not yet know the date of the next Budget, but it is expected to be after the UK leaves the EU on 31 January 2020. Early February appears to be the likely time.

We have previously covered what might be in the Budget here.

By Gary Mackley-Smith

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