IEA reaction to the Queen's Speech 2016

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

“The Queen’s Speech provided some promise of decreasing government intervention in certain areas, but unnecessary regulation still reared its ugly head in others.

“Allowing governors to run their own jails is a welcome step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough. Like many government services, our prisons produce terrible results in terms of re-offending rates, education and living conditions for inmates. Autonomy for individual governors is a good start, but we need more private companies getting involved in prison reform to improve our dire re-offending rates and reduce costs.”

“While full-scale academisation has been shelved, failing schools will still be forced to become academies. Shackling schools to central government control may result in education change nationwide, but will fail to consider local circumstances, mainly to score political points. All schools should be free schools, fully decentralised and more pluralistic with funding channelled through parents rather than national or local government. 

“It is baffling how the government seems to be devolving powers in some areas and yet are still hell-bent on pushing through the regressive sugar tax. There is no evidence anywhere in the world that such a tax has had even the slightest effect on obesity. Instead of clobbering the poor with this ridiculous and draconian tax, the focus should be on educating people on how to live a healthy lifestyle and allowing individuals to take responsibility for their well-being.”

Notes to editors:

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The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

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