Centre for Policy Studies: “The robust line on law and order was not matched by a similarly imaginative approach to the economy.”
‘It was welcome to see the Government adopting many of the policies recommended by the Centre for Policy Studies – tackling low-quality degrees, introducing minimum service requirements during strikes, supporting domestic energy production, confirming Britain’s membership of the CPTPP trading pact and so on.
‘But it was striking that the robust line on law and order issues was not matched by a similarly imaginative approach to the economy and the size of the state. A speech that promised to address ‘the drivers of low growth’ saw the continued expansion of the state and state power into new sectors of the economy and society. The Autumn Statement surely needs to reverse that trend.’
Institute of Economic Affairs: “Heavy on intervention, light on liberalisation.”
“The King’s Speech was an opportunity to reset the agenda, yet has proven little more than heavy on intervention, light on liberalisation. While the government promised to ‘make long-term decisions to change this country for the better’, these announcements risk perpetuating Britain’s nit-picky overregulation, high tax, and low growth economic model.
“The new football regulator and digital markets interventions could repel investment into some of Britain’s most successful and innovative sectors. The phased smoking ban strips away personal choice while presenting an enticing business opportunity for black market sellers. The banning of so-called ‘drip pricing’ for airlines risks passengers paying more for services they do not need.
“New trade agreements, including joining CPTPP, will give consumers more choices and provide opportunities for British businesses. Expanding North Sea oil and gas licences is a welcome step towards lower energy costs, but it can only go so far. But without a fundamental shift in economic thinking, we are on the path to another lost decade of economic growth.”
Centre for Social Justice: “This felt like a government tidying up a few loose ends.”
“For all the pomp and circumstance, this felt like a government tidying up a few loose ends.
It was good to see the Renters Reform Bill being carried over, and we hope that underneath the red-blooded rhetoric around imprisonment, community sentencing will emerge as a robust alternative for petty criminals to reduce reoffending rates.
We were disappointed not to see specific reference to classing Cuckooing as a crime, and in the face of the crisis in school absence, absence guidance being made statutory and the introduction of a Children Not in School register.
The Chancellor has much to do in his Autumn Statement.”
Bright Blue: “Time is running out for the tired Tories.”
“The King’s Speech is not sufficiently coherent or ambitious to transform the fortunes of both the Conservative Government and – most importantly – the UK economy. This is likely to be the last legislative programme for this Tory Government and it says very little about two of the biggest priorities for the public: improving private incomes and public services.
“Time is running out for the tired Tories. Much of what has been promised in this King’s Speech – especially on housing and crime – has been promised for several years now. The Tories need to offer and implement new policies, especially on tax, housing, health and education, and quickly.”
News Media Association: “We welcome removing this pernicious threat to press freedom.”
“We welcome the government’s commitment to repealing Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act through the inclusion of the Media Bill in The King’s Speech today. We hope that the Bill will become law quickly, removing this pernicious threat to press freedom from the statute book once and for all.”
Britain Remade: “Government urgently needs to spend more time working on getting more new nuclear built, and less time on political games.”
“Including new legislation to mandate annual North Sea oil and gas licensing rounds in the King’s Speech is little more than political posturing that is unlikely to increase domestic oil and gas production.
“Rather than wasting time trying to create political dividing lines, the Prime Minister should be going hell for leather to speed up the building of new sources of clean energy.
“We urgently need to slash the time it takes to build offshore wind farms, get spades in the ground for new onshore wind turbines, speed up new grid connections and build a new generation of both large and small nuclear power stations.
“Britain hasn’t even got out of the starting blocks when it comes to small modular reactors. While the US has an approved design and SMRs are being built in China and Poland, we don’t even know where these new mini nuclear plants will be allowed to be built.
“Government urgently needs to spend more time working on getting more new nuclear built, and less time on political games.”
Conservative Environment Network: “North Sea oil and gas reserves are now depleted and expensive to extract.”
“Oil and gas is one of the most contentious parts of the government’s energy policy. A major political focus on new exploration could undermine voters’ perception of the Conservatives’ commitment to climate action before the general election. It could also overshadow efforts to promote the party’s positive record on renewables, which is not widely known and significantly more popular.
“We will need oil and gas for the next few decades. Indeed, it is economically sensible to pursue a fair transition, rather than a cliff edge, away from homegrown fossil fuel production. But North Sea oil and gas reserves are now depleted and expensive to extract. A more practical way to improve energy security would be to commission new offshore wind farms in next year’s renewables auction and offer tax breaks to households to insulate their homes.”