Tax legislation announced in Queen's Speech

Current affairs text

The government will legislate against any increases in VAT, income tax and national insurance over the next 5 years, it was confirmed in the 2015 Queen's Speech.

The 'tax lock', originally announced in the Conservative's election manifesto, was one of the key measures announced during the Queen's Speech that officially opens the new Parliament.

Income tax changes will also ensure that people working 30 hours a week on the national minimum wage will not pay income tax. During the election campaign the Conservatives committed to raising the personal allowance to £12,500 over the next 5 years.

The Queen said:

"My government will legislate in the interests of everyone in our country.

"It will adopt a one nation approach, helping working people get on, supporting aspiration, giving new opportunities to the most disadvantaged and bringing different parts of our country together."

Industry reaction

Business leaders broadly welcomed the contents of the Queen's Speech but urged the government to make a concerted effort in reducing the deficit and reining in public spending.

Katja Hall, deputy director general at the Confederation of British Industry, said:

"This is a jam-packed Queen's Speech, with a strong focus on stepping up a gear on the economic recovery – locking in growth, creating jobs and boosting investment right across the country."

John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "If the last Parliament was defined by austerity, this one should be defined by growth. And the government needs a confident, unapologetic programme to deliver that sustained growth.

"What we have seen in the Queen’s Speech is a positive start, and overall the message appears to be one of ambition, enterprise and growth for firms across the country."

John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

"The economy is on the right track to create jobs and growth in the UK. The government must maintain its course, strengthening the enterprise landscape to support ambitious businesses to boost productivity and jobs.

"However, ministers must stick to the path of fiscal discipline and continue to drive down the deficit. We want to continue to see a stronger economy while the cost of doing business must be lower and easier."