Queen's Speech 2019: The Implications for Public Services

Briefing Paper

The Queen’s Speech of 2019 was made on 14th October 2019. It contains some interesting announcements with significant implications for public services.

This is an unusual Queen’s Speech in that:

  • It isn’t really about the government’s planned legislative programme because the government lacks a majority in the House of Commons and because of the expectation that the next general election is imminent. It is really about the government setting out its stall for that election especially by highlighting policies that are likely to be popular with its core voters.
  • Everything is overshadowed by ‘Brexit’. It is not possible for the government (or any government) to devise long-term policies for any public services while the outcome of the ‘Brexit’ question is unclear and, whatever happens on 31st October 2019, the outcome of the ‘Brexit’ question will continue to be unclear for some time.
  • Where the government is saying something significant about public services (for example on Devolution and the National Health Service), what it is saying is rather vague and dependent on future policy statements. The Queen’s Speech also makes very little reference to how new policies could be funded, while the government’s financial position continues to be weak.

Nonetheless, the Queen’s Speech reflects the government’s intentions and includes the legislation that they would intend to introduce were they to be re-elected.

This briefing paper summarises the main implications of the Queen’s Speech for public services and some of the reactions to it, as well as providing some context and commentary. It includes sections on: Brexit, Public Finances, Devolution, National Health Service, Local Government Finance, Adult Social Care, Education, Housing, Transport & Roads, Police & Justice, Electoral Registration, Environment, Infrastructure, Carry over Bills, and Implications for Scotland.

To view or download your copy of the full briefing paper, please click here.

After publishing this briefing paper, a Housing Association Chief Executive wrote to say that:

"I do look forward to your Briefings. They cut through the political 'guff' to look at the real financial implications of government proposals, just like the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Thank you, Adrian."


The Houses of Parliament where the Queen's Speech was delivered

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