Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Queen's Speech

Yesterday's Queen's Speech will really help strengthen the recovery and help families here in the North East.  Our region was hit hardest by Labour's recession and this Queen's speech will help build our private sector led recovery.

The measures put forward by the Government such as the Small Business Bill will help support small business and get the banks lending, creating a future based on growth and jobs – rather than debt.

This is the next step in a clear long term plan which will boost business and jobs, support families, and help pensioners across our region.

Here's what the Government has put forward:

Helping families:
Finding affordable childcare is one of the biggest challenges for parents and guardians. So we’re going to help working families with their childcare costs - with tax-free support of up to £2,000 a year for each child.

We’re also increasing the personal tax allowance to £10,500, cutting income tax for over 25 million people (find out how much you’ll save here) and fuel duty is being frozen for the rest of this Parliament.

Giving you more security in retirement:
If you’ve worked hard and saved for your pension pot, you should be free to decide what to do with your money. So we’re giving people with defined contribution pensions complete control over how they access their pension:

  • Those who want an annuity will still be able to purchase one
  • Those who want greater control of their finances in the short term can take a greater amount as a lump sum
  • Those who don’t want either an annuity or to withdraw everything in one go will be able to keep their pension invested and access it over time
We’re also making important changes to workplace pensions to give employees more certainty about their income in retirement.

Protecting workers:
We’re banning “zero hours” contracts where they prevent workers taking jobs elsewhere - and raising the maximum fine to £2,000 per employee for employers who pay less than the minimum wage.

Backing small business and enterprise to create more jobs:
Because we have taken difficult, long-term decisions, we are able to put extra investment into our roads and railways to improve our infrastructure and help businesses grow and create jobs.

This includes the biggest investment in roads since the 1970s - and in rail since Victorian times.

We’re also making it easier for small businesses to start, grow and employ people.

These measures build on what our long-term economic plan has delivered so far: the deficit down by over a third; income tax cut for 25 million people by an average £705; 1.5 million more jobs; a welfare system that ensures work pays; 1.7 million more apprentices and better schools for young people.

There is still a long way to go - but only by sticking to our plan will we secure a better and brighter future for Britain.