28 May What was in the Queen’s Speech for Business?
The first Conservative majority government for almost 20 years unveiled it’s plans yesterday for the coming year, and it looks like an “interesting time” is in store for businesses.
No one in business likes uncertainty but we are entering a period where it seems to be the main feature of the business landscape.
Here we look at some of the proposals which will impact business.
In/Out Vote on EU Membership
Government’s commitment to hold an in/out referendum on EU membership is covered in a bill to pave the way for the referendum, although there is still reportedly debate within the cabinet about the best time to hold the referendum. Some ministers prefer an early vote to both capitalise on the positive feeling towards the new government and avoid it slipping in to mid term when traditionally governments are unpopular. They want to avoid the vote becoming more about the governments performance than the issue of EU membership. Other ministers prefer to allow more time for renegotiation with other members by holding a later vote.
Either way let’s hope that the campaigning is serious and meaningful. giving us a better idea of the pros and cons of leaving or indeed staying in the union. Business leaders could be forgiven for thinking that arguments to date seem to have created more heat than light!
A number of measures to tackle immigration were announced including a proposal to make it illegal for UK employers and recruiters to hire abroad without first advertising the jobs in the UK.
The Enterprise Bill proposes to reduce red tape on small businesses to the value of £10Bn to boost employment. It also proposes a Small Business Conciliation Service to settle disputes between small and large businesses, particularly over late payment.
Trades Union Bill
Trades unions will find it more difficult to take meaningful action with the passing of this bill. There will be a requirement for a minimum 50% turn out for any strike ballot and a requirement that a minimum of 40% of all eligible voters back strike action.
More powers are proposed to be devolved to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the big cities. Under the proposals increasing responsibilities for tax and benefits will devolve to Scotland which others will increase control over issues such as planning and transport.
So, much change is in store for the UK business community. Having sound business plans while remaining flexible will be the order of the day.
What do you expect to have most impact on your business in this parliament?