22/06/17The Queen’s speech: How will it affect your personal finances?
The 2017 Queen’s speech was delivered after a General Election that has left the Conservative party without a majority. This has forced Theresa May to drop many of the big manifesto promises.
So, what stays? What has been cut? And how will your personal finances be affected?
Unsurprisingly, Brexit dominated much of the Queen’s speech, with eight of the 27 bills being brought forward covering subjects such as:
Introduced to convert EU law into UK law.
Ensures that the UK has a standalone UK customs regime on exit, flexibility to accommodate future trade agreements with the EU, and control over the import and export of goods. This bill also ensures that changes can be made to the UK’s VAT and excise regimes, whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations.
This puts a legal framework in place to allow Britain to strike free trade deals with countries around the world, whilst ensuring that domestic business stay protected from unfair trading practises.
This enables the Government to end the free movement of EU nationals into the UK.
Other Brexit bills being brought forward concerned fisheries, agriculture, nuclear safeguards and international sanctions.
Dividend Tax Allowance
The snap election interrupted plans to cut the dividend tax allowance from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018. This failed to make it onto the statute book in time, and was absent from the Queen’s speech.
Income Tax and National Insurance
The National Insurance Contributions (NICs) Bill was discussed, which legislates the changes announced in the 2016 Budget and 2016 Autumn Statement. The changes to Class 4 NICs initially proposed in the Spring Budget earlier this year, then swiftly reversed, were left out, as was any mention of income tax.
Whilst the Conservative manifesto promised to cut Corporation Tax to 17% by 2020, no mention of it was made.
National Living Wage
The National Living Wage was included, which applies for anyone aged 25 or over. The Conservative manifesto pledges an increase from £7.50 to £8.75 by 2020.
Value Added Tax (VAT)
The Conservative manifesto stated: “We will not increase the level of Value Added Tax.” There was no mention however of VAT in the Queen’s Speech.
The ‘triple lock’ policy was a recurring topic during the election campaign, with the Conservatives pledging to keep it in place until 2020, then change it to a ‘double lock’.
This, along with any mention of the State Pension, was not included in the speech.
Along with the State Pension, means testing of winter fuel benefits were also left out of the speech, which was a prominent policy laid out in the Conservative manifesto. This would have seen universal winter fuel payments, which are currently worth between £100 and £300, be means tested in the future.
Social care saw a lot of press in the election campaign, with the introduction and then swift scrapping of a policy, dubbed the ‘dementia tax’ dealing with how care is paid for. Again, this was left out of the speech.
What else was mentioned?
Other key points from the speech included a financial guidance and claims bill, aiming to establish a new statutory body, accountable to Parliament, with responsibility for coordinating the provision of pension guidance and debt advice.
With no majority, it comes as no surprise that some of the more controversial policies were left out. The notion of having to ‘wait and see’ is a recurring one when it comes to UK politics, and this time is no different.