A Queen’s speech for jobs and growth

Jobs jobs jobs

The UK is currently experiencing its slowest ever recovery from its longest ever recession. At the heart of the Queen’s speech should be a policy platform that both tackles this urgent need for jobs and growth and that also reforms the welfare state and restructures the UK economy. Intergenerational and international fairness should also take centre stage. Here are a handful of top priorities:

Preventing worklessness bill

A bill to end long-term unemployment by guaranteeing work to any person on JSA who does not find employment during their time on the Work Programme. These would be newly created jobs, of at least six months in duration and paid at least the minimum wage. Failure to take up these jobs would result in the removal of unemployment benefit.

Intergenerational fairness bill

A bill to restrict Winter Fuel Allowance, free TV licences and free bus passes to older people in receipt of Pension Credit to release resources to extend childcare for families with young children. Further funds could be raised by restricting higher rate tax relief for higher rate pension contributions.

Universal childcare bill

A bill to establish the legal framework for gradually extending access to high quality childcare for pre-school children, with a substantial amount free and a cap on the remaining costs for parents. As a first step, 15 hours of free childcare would be provided for all two year olds. IPPR’s cost-benefit analysis shows that universal childcare pays a return to the Treasury of £20,050 (over four years) in terms of tax revenue minus the cost of childcare for every woman who returns to full-time employment after one year of maternity leave.

National salary insurance bill

A Bill to improve income protection for working people who lose their jobs, providing anyone who had made sufficient NICs with access to up to £200 a week for up to six months while they look for a new job, repaid via an income-contingent loan, with a zero real rate of interest.

Banking bill

A bill to purchase all remaining shares in RBS and to split it into a ‘bad bank’ holding discounted assets and a ‘good bank’ focused on retail banking activities and with adequate capital to allow it to increase substantially its lending to UK companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.

British investment bank bill

A bill to establish a fully-fledged National Investment Bank, initially capitalised with £10 billion and with the ability to issues bonds to raise further funds from financial institutions, insurance companies and pension funds. The bank would be given the remit of lending primarily for large infrastructure projects that will produce future returns, including toll roads and upgrading the rail network.

Overseas development assistance bill

A bill to enshrine in law the commitment to meet UN target of 0.7 per cent ODA/GNI spend by 2013. The internationally recognised OECD definition should apply to all spending included as ‘overseas development assistance’, with a requirement to report to parliament annually on progress towards the target and quarterly on both value for money for the UK taxpayer and aid effectiveness.


Alternative Queen’s Speeches on Progress

Progress editorial: The first Queen’s speech in two years is imminent. Labour should seize on the event to set out its own stall

We asked Labour people to devise what would be in Labour’s Alternative Queen’s Speech to show how Britain would be better under Labour

It should be fiscal responsibility first in Labour’s Alternative Queen’s Speech argues Jacqui Smith

The UK needs a radical tax overhaul. Fabian general secretary Andrew Harrop sets out what this would involve

Strengthening sure start comes first writes David Talbot

Richard Darlington, Tony Dolphin and Graeme Cooke from IPPR present their Alternative Queen’s Speech for jobs and growth

We need an Alternative Queen’s Speech for community empowerment argues Florence Nosegbe

Patrick Diamond wants Labour to create an efficient, muscular state through a ‘too big to fail’ bill and a ‘mutual home-ownership bill’

Jeremy Miles would introduce a ‘transparency in equal pay bill’ and introduce compulsory so that all politicians have to listen to all sections of society

In Steve Van Riel‘s Alternative Queen’s Speech business should be required to publish the salary of its lowest-paid worker, and the OBR should be mandated to work with the opposition on costings

LabourList editor Mark Ferguson would put an end to Crown dependency tax havens, and finally introduce a National Care Service

Former Labour party general secretary Peter Watt would introduce a safety in care bill for all adults in care, and a rule to remove a set number of pieces of legislation from the statute book every year


Richard Darlington is IPPR’s head of news, Tony Dolphin is senior economist and associate director for economic policy and Graeme Cooke is associate director for family, community and work


Photo: Elias Scwerdtfeger

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  • M_D

    I have issues with some of the intergenerational fairness proposals, I’m not convinced more well off pensioners should be targeted, look at Saga’s reaction to the budget, they’re a powerful and influential lobby group who we need on side.

    The rest of it may be “back of fag packet” stuff but it’s a good set of Nordic Socially Democratic proposals.

  • Anonymous

    Please forget about having a bank that issues IOUs to the predatory lending sector.
    Introduce monetary reform and 100% reserve lending. Have government spend debt free money on roads, services, health education and infrastructure. Use the debt free money to pay off the national debt in thirty years. No more national debt, no more deficit, no more interest on the national debt.

    Tax the rentier classes more and get rid of VAT and taxes on the low paid.

    That is the way to be socialist, and that is the way to end boom and bust.

    Look at “Positive Money” and Professor Richard Werner.



    Also James Robertsons new book Future Money.