Market Insight

Post-Covid recovery plan unveiled in Queen’s Speech

May 11, 2021

Proposed legislation to support skills, transform rail and bus connectivity and introduce long-awaited reform of the planning system were amongst the priorities announced in the Queen’s Speech today.

The Queen’s Speech is part of the State Opening of Parliament and sets out the government’s programme for the next year.

In the speech, the Queen said that the Government’s priority was to “…deliver a national recovery from the pandemic that makes the United Kingdom stronger, healthier and more prosperous than before.”

Included in the 30 bills announced by the Queen was the long-awaited Planning Bill to ease planning controls in England and increase housebuilding, including a controversial zoning system.

Other bills aimed at “supporting jobs, businesses and economic growth and addressing the impact of the pandemic on public services,” included:

  • Building Safety Bill which will introduce a new system for regulating the safety of high-rise buildings, and inspecting construction sites.
  • Leasehold Reform Bill which will limit the ability of landlords to charge ground rents where no tangible service is given.
  • The Environment Bill, which has been repeatedly delayed, will introduce new post-Brexit rules to protect nature and the environment. It is also expected that this will include the requirement for development achieve biodiversity net gain.
  • National Insurance Contributions Bill will create tax breaks for employers based in the UK’s eight freeports.
  • High Speed Rail (Crewe-Manchester) Bill to transform connectivity by rail and bus.
  • Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill to extend 5G coverage and introduce new safety standards for digital devices.
  • Subsidy Control Bill to support businesses post-Brexit now the UK has left the EU’s “state aid” regime.
  • Procurement Bill to simplify public sector procurement.

MPs will debate the proposed new laws this afternoon. We will bring you more on this as things develop.