Queen's Speech 2016

 

On 18 May 2016, the Queen commenced the State Opening of Parliament with the Queen’s Speech. The Speech details the Governments legislative plans for the forthcoming parliamentary term and is a tradition that can be traced back to 1536.

A number of key Bills were announced during the Speech, although a number of these policies had been detailed in the Chancellor’s Budget earlier this year.  It was positive to see that some Bills were directed towards benefiting businesses, notably in areas of reducing redtape and more specifically, developing the future of the automotive industry.


The RMI has provided a summary of the key policies and legislative announcements:

  • Modern Transport Bill
  • Local Growth and Jobs Bill
  • Better Markets Bill
  • (Not Bill but commented on) UK Economy and Fiscal
  • Digital Economy Bill
  • Pensions Bill
  • Higher Education and Research Bill


Notable Bills continuing from 2015/16 parliament:

  • Finance Bill 2017
  • Wales Bill
  • High Speed Rails (London-Midlands) Bill

 

Modern Transport Bill

“My Ministers will ensure the United Kingdom is at the forefront of technology for new forms of transport, including autonomous and electric vehicles.”

The purpose of the Bill is to:

  • Cut red tape and put the right framework in place to allow innovation to flourish.
  • Create the conditions that drives innovation and puts the UK at the forefront of modern global transport developments as part of the country’s long term economic plan.
  • Maintain and extend the UK’s role as a world-leading transport manufacturing base.
  • Ensure new technology delivers better, safer journeys, while keeping Britain at the cutting edge of international transport technology.


The main benefits of the Bill would be:

  • Reducing congestion, which has been estimated to cost the UK economy £20 billion every year.
  • Modern transportation can make much more efficient use of our roads, railways and airspace, cutting congestions, speeding up journeys for people and goods and boosting the UK’s economy.
  • The UK exported 1.2 million cars last year. This Bill would put the UK at the forefront of autonomous and driverless vehicles ownership and use.
  • Setting the framework for the UK’s first spaceport and autonomous vehicles, paving the way for commercial spaceflight and drone operations in the UK and boosting our world-leading satellite industry.


The main elements of the Bill are:

  • Encouraging potential investors in autonomous vehicles, spaceplane operations and spaceports, creating highly skilled jobs and spurring innovation across the economy.
  • Legislation that will put the UK at the forefront of safe technology in the autonomous vehicles industry, such as drones, and spaceplanes.
  • Ensuring appropriate insurance is available to support the use of autonomous and driverless vehicles.


Key facts:

  • Trials of automated and driverless cars are currently taking place in Bristol, Greenwich, Milton Keynes and Coventry (The 4 Cities Driverless Car Trials), and we expect to see vehicles (cars and/ or pods) driving themselves later this year)
  • Since the launch of the Plug-In Car Grant in January 2011, there have been 60,755 eligible electric cars registered.
  • The Teals Group's market study estimates that drone production will soar from current worldwide production of $4 billion annually to $414 billion, totalling $93 billion in the next ten years. With addition of military drone research spending this would rise to $123 billion over the decade.

 

Local Growth and Jobs Bill

“Legislation will also allow local authorities to retain business rates, giving them more freedom to invest in local communities.”

The main elements of the Bill are:

Business Rates Retention system

  • The Bill will put in place the framework for the delivery of the scheme, and legislate for the set of responsibilities that will be devolved to local authorities as a result of the reforms.


Local Tax Flexibilities

  • The Bill aims to strengthen local areas’ ability to reduce the business rates tax rate.
  • The Bill would give the ability to combined authority mayors to levy a supplement on business rates bills to fund new infrastructure projects, provided they have the support of the business community through the Local Enterprise Partnership.


Devolution

  • The Local Growth and Jobs Bill would apply only to England.


Key facts

  • Local government would retain 100% of local taxes, including all £26billion of revenue from business rates, to spend on local government services.
  • Since 2013, local government has retained 50% of the business rates it raises.
  • 10 Devolution Deals have been agreed so far.

 

Better Markets Bill

“Legislation will be introduced to improve Britain’s competitiveness”

The purpose of the Bill is to:

  • Open up markets, boost competition, give consumers more power and choice and make economic regulators work better.

Main elements of the Bill:


Consumer Power

  • To encourage consumers to switch providers and get a better deal, supporting the manifesto commitment to help keep bills as low as possible.


Environment for competition

  • To speed up the decision making process for competition investigations and make the whole process easier for businesses and better for consumers.
  • To give the competition authorities more powers to take on anti-competitive behaviour.
  • To improve the landscape for economic regulation.


Open Markets

  • To take steps to ensure open and competitive markets which keep costs low and deliver for bill payers, including delivering the manifesto commitment to act quickly on the Competition and Market Authority’s final recommendations to promote competition in the energy market.
  • To help businesses by simplifying regulatory processes and removing unnecessary requirements.


Devolution

  • The Bill’s substantive provisions would apply to all regulation made by UK ministers where Westminster has legislative competence, and to all regulatory functions except where functions are devolved.


Key facts

  • Opening up markets to new entrants leads to new and innovative products and services at lower costs, which benefits consumers across the UK
  • Building on the commitment to cut £10 billion of red tape over this Parliament, the Government established the principle that, where appropriate, enforcement action is a last resort and regulators should start by helping businesses do the right thing.

 

 

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