Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
- The chancellor confirmed that VAT is going back up on 1 January to 17.5%, but says he has no other announcements on VAT. This may surprise some commentators who had suspected it could go up further.
- Confirmation too that the 1p rise in corporation tax is being postponed.
- From next month no-one under-24 needs to be unemployed for longer than 6 months before being guaranteed work
- Basic state pension to rise in April and a cut in Bingo Duty
- Child benefit and disability benefit to rise by 1.5% in April.
- Forecasts: Growth return this quarter. 2009/10 growth minus 4.75%. Next year 1.5%, 2011 on 3.5% i.e. not much change
- Chancellor revised provision for any potential impact from financial interventions on the public finances from £50bn to around £10bn
- Public Sector Net Borrowing - forecast next year £176bn which as a share of GDP will be 12%
- Inflation will rise to three per cent, the Chancellor predicts, partly because of the VAT reintroduction
- National Insurance to rise by a further 0.5% from April 2011 on incomes over £20k
Thursday, 3 December 2009
In it he will hope to define the Labour government as the only party that can ensure economic recovery, and drive a wedge of economic policy between Labour and the Conservatives.
In what will no doubt be dubbed a bold PBR, we know this from leaks thus far:
• VAT will return to the 17.5% level
• Income tax and national insurance look set to be increased
• New ‘green’ taxes are expected
• Measures to ensure continued growth of low carbon sectors is certain
It will be interesting to see how many of the Chancellor’s measures are tabled for introduction before the General election.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
- Strengthen and reform financial regulation, support better corporate governance, and protect and empower consumers;
- Ensure that the financial system that emerges from the crisis is one not only rebuilt on a stronger and sounder footing, but is also one that is fairer and works better for consumers.
- Put the Government's deficit reduction plan on a statutory footing, in order to half the deficit over 4 years and put debt on a sustainable path in the medium term.
- Help around 400,000 people with care needs;
- Offer for the first time free personal care at home for those with the highest needs, regardless of means;
- Be the first step towards setting up a new National Care Service - a simple, fair and affordable care system for everyone.
- Provide guarantees for parents and pupils setting out what they can expect from a 21st century schools system. These will equip every child, every family and everyone who works with them to meet the challenges ahead, and so help secure this country's success now and in the future.
- The Bill would protect communities by making parents take responsibility for their child's antisocial behaviour. The Bill would also introduce new powers to help victims break the cycle of domestic violence.
- Strengthen the nation's communications infrastructures, equipping the UK to compete and lead in the global digital economy.
- Provide support for energy consumers, giving a greater amount of help to the poorest and most vulnerable, as well as introducing a new financial incentive for carbon capture and storage demonstration projects.
- Provide better, more sustainable management of flood risk for people, homes and businesses, help safeguard community groups from unaffordable rises in surface water drainage charges and protect water supplies to the consumer.
- Provide a modern and comprehensive scheme of bribery offences to equip prosecutors and courts to deal effectively with bribery at home and abroad.
- Create prohibitions on the use, production and transfer of cluster munitions in the UK and by UK nationals, and thereby implement the UK's international obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM).
House of Lords Reform Bill
- Set out how the Government proposes to take forward the vote of the House of Commons in March 2007 in favour of a wholly or substantially elected second chamber.
- The Draft Bill would ensure that the Government spends 0.7 per cent of gross national income on Official Development Assistance from 2013.
- Set out groundbreaking new laws which will help narrow the gap between rich and poor; require businesses to report on gender pay; outlaw age discrimination; and will significantly strengthen Britain's anti-discrimination legislation.
- Enshrine in law the Government's commitment to end child poverty by 2020.
- Rebalance the relationship between Parliament, the Government and the public. It aims to rebuild trust in our democratic and constitutional settlement by reinforcing the principles of transparency, accountability and probity across government.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
- No more allowances for mortgage payments, only for rented properties.
- Outer London MPs will lose second home allowance.
- Family members to banned from being employed by MPs (will not come into affect for another five years)
- No claims for furniture or food to be allowed.
- Abolition of the communications allowance.
- Redundancy payments for MPs choosing to step down reduced to 8 weeks
All three party leaders used their opportunity to speak at PMQs today, to fully support the entirety of the report’s recommendations.
David Cameron is expected to update the press with his reviewed European policy at 4pm today, after meeting with his backbenchers.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
The legislative programme for what could be the last session of parliament with the current Labour government will be announced by the Queen on 18th November. With a general election expected in May 2010, the legislative timetable will be tight and many of the expected bills may never make it through parliament to Royal Ascent.
In what will become a General Election battleground, the legislation announced may define Labour for decades. The PM had already given a flavour of what to expect when he published ‘Building Britain’s Future’ in June of this year.
In summary, the following 11 bills are expected:
· Constitutional Renewal Bill
· Financial Services and Business bill
· Digital Economy Bill
· Energy Bill
· Flood and Water Management Bill
· Equality Bill
· Policing, Crime and Private Security Bill
· Child Poverty Bill
· Animal Health Responsibility and Cost Sharing Bill
· Cluster Munitions Prohibitions Bill
· Improving schools and safeguarding children bill
Two of the significant bills expected are the Financial Services and Business Bill and the Digital Economy bill. With the former aimed at tackling the ‘bonus culture’ in British banks and strengthening the role of the FSA. Expect a number of vote winning measures to be introduced, to ensure that Labour is deemed the party that punished the banks for causing the financial crisis.
The Digital Economy Bill will detail how Britain will become a leader in the global digital economy. This will include several commitments that were laid out in the Digital Britain report including; a commitment to universal to 2mb broadband access, new curbs on illegal file sharing, a new system of videogames classification and enhancement of OFCOM.