Yesterday, the Queen delivered her 64th State Opening of Parliament speech and outlined David Cameron’s “One Nation” vision.
The speech, the first by a Conservative-only government in almost two decades, was billed by the prime minister as a “programme for working people” that would create “full employment” and “bring our country together.” He said he wanted the UK to be a nation of “security and opportunity for everyone, at every stage of life.”
Among the raft of measures announced was the much-trumpeted ‘tax lock’, which promises that there will be no increase in income tax, VAT or national insurance for the next five years. There was also a pledge to legislate so future increases to the income tax personal allowance reflect changes to the National Minimum Wage.
This means that individuals working 30 hours a week on minimum wage would be exempt from paying income tax. In addition, the government predicted that increases to the personal allowance over the course of the Parliament would benefit around 30 million working people.
The measures form part of the National Insurance Contributions and Finance Bill, designed to enact a series of tax pledges made during the election campaign. Ministers claim the associated legislation would “reward those who work hard and do the right thing.”
In her speech, the Queen said: “My government will continue with its long-term plan to provide economic stability and security at every stage of life. Measures will be introduced to raise the productive potential of the economy and increase living standards.”
The prime minister echoed this sentiment, claiming the government was determined to reward those who work by letting them keep even more of the money they earn.
Have your say
What do you think of the proposals? Do you think you will benefit from the new measures? What other measures would you like to see introduced? Join in the discussion on Twitter, or leave a comment below.