Tax and Fiscal Policy

Queen’s Speech lacks measures to deliver on economic growth


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IEA responds to the Queen's Speech

Commenting on the Queen’s Speech, Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The Queen’s Speech offered little to promote growth. Policies to boost the economy should have made up the majority of the legislative agenda, yet instead barely anything has been promised except more business regulation and more government spending on wasteful infrastructure projects and welfare.

“This is a weak response by a government that is facing a productivity crisis and which seems incapable of reducing government spending. The more promising measures to reduce business regulation and reform the welfare system seem aspirational, rather than radical. Significant spending reductions, substantial tax cuts and specific red tape reduction measures should form the core of the government’s agenda for the rest of this Parliament.”

Commenting on specific measures, Mark Littlewood said:


“The decision to press ahead with High Speed 2 is very bad news for taxpayers and the wider economy. The costs of this loss-making project are likely to far exceed the benefits and the final bill could easily be in excess of £50 billion – almost £2,000 per household.”


“The crackdown on immigration announced in the Queen’s Speech will impose an intolerable burden on many small businesses. The extra administrative costs and the threat of hefty fines will deter landlords from renting out property and deter firms from employing new staff.”

Social care

“It is especially regrettable that the Queen’s speech contains spending commitments that will impact on future generations such as plans to increase state pensions and state support for long-term care costs.”

Lifestyle freedoms

“Both minimum alcohol pricing and the plain packaging of cigarettes would cost jobs, harm economic growth, promote the black market and would do nothing to improve health. The government should be applauded for vetoing these absurd proposals.”

Notes to editors:

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