Posted on 28.5.15 by Christian Mancier
The Queen delivered her speech on Wednesday from the throne in the House of Lords to outline the government’s agenda and key policies for the next five years. Although it is read out by the Queen, it is written by the government – in this case the Conservatives – who hold a majority for the first time in 18 years.
The question that everybody wants to know is:
How does it affect me?
The Queen’s Speech was packed with 26 bills, so, Gorvins Solicitors have picked out the policies that are most likely to impact personally on you.
Re-launch of the Right to Buy Scheme
The Right to Buy scheme, first launched by Margaret Thatcher in 1980, is a policy which gives tenants of councils and now, under the revised scheme, some housing associations the legal right to buy the home they are living in, at a significantly discounted price. It has now been rather controversially reinstated by David Cameron and his government, although the scheme has been abolished in Scotland and Wales. Mr Cameron hopes that the introduced legislation will support home ownership in England.
Under the plans, tenants will be offered huge discounts worth up to £102,700 in London and £77,000 in the rest of England. To be applicable for the scheme and given the opportunity to buy, you have to have lived in your property for three years or more, which is applicable to around 1.3 million people in England. Altogether, around 2.5 million people are currently living in social housing. The Conservatives have promised to use the money generated from sales to build replacement affordable homes, badged as ‘Right to Build’, which have been sadly lacking in recent years. Many critics of the Right to Buy scheme have commented that this is a short term plan, which will not address the chronic shortage of housing and will have to be heavily subsidised by government – up to £5 billion according to some. The Conservatives, however, think it will make the country money.
The government is also targeting 200,000 new starter homes across the UK, which will go on sale to first-time buyers under 40 at 20% discount. This policy will help home ownership, especially for the young, who seem to have been excluded from owning their own place in recent years.
Other Key Pledges
The Enterprise bill is a pledge to fulfil the pre-election manifesto promise to reduce regulation on small businesses. The bill promises to cut £10billion of red-tape for businesses, making it easier for small firms to secure quick payments, establish a small business conciliation service to handle business-to-business disputes (for example, late payments) without involving the courts. It would also cap the redundancy pay to public sector workers.
Another manifesto pledge was to increase personal tax allowance. Under plans, 30 million workers will get an income tax cut as the personal allowance is set to be increased to £12,500 by 2020. The government have also promised to ensure that people working 30 hours a week on the minimum wage (currently £6.50 per hour) will pay no income tax on their earnings.
Further to this, the law will be changed so that there can be no rise in income tax, VAT or National Insurance. These are the three main taxes in the Britain, raising 60% of governmental revenue. This bill will extend to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Free Childcare changes
The most challenging bill from an employer’s perspective is the change in childcare. Through the Queen’s Speech, the government have promised a doubling of free childcare for three and four year olds to 30 hours per week when both parents are in work. The detail of this bill has yet to be announced, but many people are hoping that this will be a simple and straightforward process.
If executed correctly, we believe the majority of the bills passed will benefit the country, however, as with all new policies, it is advised to air on the side of caution. Yes, giving people the opportunity to purchase their own homes through the Right to Buy scheme, will propel the UK further into becoming a nation of homeowners, however, the lack of new and affordable housing still makes it a sellers’ market and this is going to have to be a major concern and project for the Conservatives to tackle. Perhaps the most talked about subject from the bills passed is the ‘EU Referendum’ planned for the latter part of 2016 or even 2017; at the moment we aren’t too sure how the country will vote on this, but could exiting the EU really be the right choice for the UK economy and the people living here? We believe this will be a hot topic of discussion for the next 2 years and one which needs to be thought about with serious attention.
To discuss any legal issues you have or questions ‘Right to Buy’, Employment Rights or legal business matters, you can contact the Gorvins team on 0161 930 5117 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.