The 2014 Queen’s Speech, that sets out the government’s legislative programme until the next general election in May 2015 was made on 4th June 2014. In advance of the speech the government made it known that it would be ‘unashamedly pro-work and pro-business’. Ministers said that changes to annuities and the funding of workplace pensions would show the coalition's continuing ‘boldness’ as would proposals to ‘recall’ failed MPs. A total of eleven bills and three draft bills were laid out by the monarch.
Most commentators are agreed that this Queen’s speech has presented a very light legislative programme for 2014/15. However, this is usual in the last year of a Parliament.
The Infrastructure Bill appears to be significant for housing with the government attempting to increase house building by reducing the obligations that the law places on developers especially with regard to planning conditions, the provision of affordable housing and environmental targets. This will probably be of concern to those in the affordable housing sector. The Chartered Institute of Housing has already expressed reservations.
There are plans for increased devolution in Scotland and Wales.
Other measures include the ending of redundancy payments to certain public employees and the introduction of a limited power for voters to ‘recall’ members of Parliament.
Perhaps the 2014 Queen’s speech could be seen as a missed opportunity to address important issues in housing and local government such as the lack of affordable housing, the crisis in adult social care and the ‘democratic deficit’.
The purpose of this briefing paper is to summarise the Queen’s Speech and to highlight the main implications for Housing and Local Government.
Your copy of the full briefing paper can be freely downloaded from HERE