His Majesty King Charles III delivered his first speech to both Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 7th November, in which he set out the UK Government's legislative programme for the coming year. This speech has greater significance than usual due to the near certainty of a general election in the coming 12 to 18 months, and it was the first address to Parliament by a king for more than 70 years.
What follows below are sections from the speech which concern matters of business, the economy, education and sustainability; areas of direct interest to HAE EHA members.
"My Government will continue to take action to bring down inflation, to ease the cost of living for families and help businesses fund new jobs and investment."
"My Ministers will support the Bank of England to return inflation to target by taking responsible decisions on spending and borrowing. These decisions will help household finances, reduce public sector debt, and safeguard the financial security of the country."
"Legislation will be introduced to strengthen the United Kingdom's energy security and reduce reliance on volatile international energy markets and hostile foreign regimes. This Bill will support the future licensing of new oil and gas fields, helping the country to transition to net zero by 2050 without adding undue burdens on households (the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill)."
"Alongside this, my Ministers will seek to attract record levels of investment in renewable energy sources and reform grid connections, building on the United Kingdom's track-record of decarbonising faster than other G7 economies."
"My Government will invest in Network North to deliver faster and more reliable journeys between, and within, the cities and towns of the North and Midlands, prioritising improving the journeys that people make most often."
"My Ministers will strengthen education for the long term. Steps will be taken to ensure young people have the knowledge and skills to succeed, through the introduction of the Advanced British Standard that will bring technical and academic routes into a single qualification. Proposals will be implemented to reduce the number of young people studying poor quality university degrees and increase the number undertaking high quality apprenticeships."
"My Ministers will introduce new legal frameworks to support the safe commercial development of emerging industries, such as self-driving vehicles (the Automated Vehicles Bill), introduce new competition rules for digital markets (the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill), and encourage innovation in technologies such as machine learning (the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill)."
"My Government will deliver a long-term plan to regenerate towns and put local people in control of their future."
Further details on the King's Speech, including explanatory notes for each of the named bills, can be found here.