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What can advisers expect from the Queen’s Speech?

What can advisers expect from the Queen’s Speech?

The Queen’s Speech will be delivered next week when the government will set out its priorities for the months ahead, with the industry hoping to see online scams, social care reform and legislation around pensions making an appearance.

The Queen’s Speech marks the beginning of the parliamentary session and it outlines the government’s proposed policies and legislation.

Here’s what advisers might expect from next week’s speech:

Social care reform

Social care reform has been on the list of things to fix for a while, with successive governments promising to address this issue and then subsequently not following through with their promises.

The prime minister has promised repeatedly to 'fix' the social care system and the Conservative manifesto promised to address the issue. In a speech in late June said the government was ‘finalising’ plans to solve the issue.

It has now been rumoured the Queen's Speech will include plans for a bill on social care.

But Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak might be reluctant to press ahead given the parlous state of the UK’s finances at the moment.

Selby said while a few ideas had been floated to fix issues in the social care sector, now might not be the right time to push it forward

He said: “What long-term care really needs is agreement on a way forward and bold political leadership. Given how rapidly the population has aged in recent decades, a new Beveridge-style solution – including higher taxes to fund it - may be needed for social care.

“Whether today’s politicians have the appetite for such reform is another question entirely, however.”

But Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, said it was an issue that has been “kicked down the road for too long”. 

Smith said it could make an appearance in the Queen’s Speech although it is unknown how much detail will be given.

She said: “Social care has proven a particularly thorny issue for successive governments. Throw in getting the UK’s finances back on a sounder footing post pandemic and the challenge for the chancellor is even stiffer. 

“One of the key learnings from the pandemic though is how important it is to have a high quality, properly funded care system. Further delays are simply unacceptable.”

Pension legislation

The latest Pension Bill became law earlier this year, and the government now needs to legislate to bring some of its rules into force.

Selby said many of the key details needed to implement parts of the act were still missing.

He said: “For example, while the act says dashboards will become a reality, crucial information around what information will need to be provided and when is likely to be set out in secondary legislation.”

But Steve Webb, a partner at LCP, said: “After the marathon process of getting the Pension Schemes Act 2021 through Parliament, we are not expecting a new bill from the Department of Work & Pensions who will be focused on implementing the legislation they have already passed.”