Some feedback on the Queen’s Speech today;
Commenting on the Queen’s Speech delivered today (11 May 2021) at the State Opening of Parliament, Tan Suee Chieh, President at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, said:
“The Prime Minister committed to fixing social care in his December 2019 re-election promise. Today’s Queen’s Speech presented an opportunity for the government, at the very least, to indicate next steps and a clear timeline for tackling the social care funding crisis.
“The pressures facing the health and social care system are largely driven by the UK’s changing demographics. The population is growing, individuals are living longer, and there is a rising proportion of older people. In the face of profound demographic change, it is increasingly likely that more and more people will require long-term care in later life.
“These pressures on the social care system have been exacerbated by Covid-19 and the need for health and social care integration. This Queen’s Speech was an opportunity to set out a clear strategy and a practical plan for tackling social care in both the short and the long term. Whilst it is important that this complex issue is addressed comprehensively, and the government should seek to provide clarity around the level of care provided and who will pay for it, we are concerned that another key moment has passed with no comprehensive plan and
that an unclear timetable remains.
“As set out in our recent report, The Great Risk Transfer, we believe the government must support individuals to manage financial risks, such as those incurred by the need for social care. We urge the government to engage with all relevant stakeholders, including drawing on the professional expertise of the IFoA, to develop a consensus around proposals that can help unlock this impasse for the benefit of the public good.”
Huw Evans, Director General at the Association of British Insurers said:
“Legislation outlined in today’s Queen’s Speech has the potential to address urgent challenges facing the UK. These include ensuring a building control system that is fit for purpose, taking firm decisions on social care funding and pushing forward progress on climate change. We also welcome that the insurance and pensions sector will be included in the dormant asset scheme to ensure that an estimated £2.1bn of unclaimed assets can be made available to good causes with the asset owners having the right to reclaim their funds at any point. It is disappointing to see no reference to tackle the rapid rise of online financial scams and we hope this is something the Government will address in the Online Safety Bill.
“As we focus on the recovery from the pandemic insurers and long-term savings providers have a vital role to play in all of these areas and we will work with the Government on behalf of our world-leading sector to deliver the best results for our customers, wider society and the UK economy.
Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said:
“Business shares the Government’s ambition to turbocharge the UK’s recovery post-pandemic and reset the economy. The Queen’s Speech provides the building blocks for a decade of transformation and inclusive economic growth.
“It’s right that the golden thread in this legislative agenda is levelling-up the country. We haven’t got a moment to lose.
“The strong focus on skills will support high quality, local jobs. The emphasis on rail, bus and digital will better connect local economies. And a fresh approach to innovation will unlock big, bold ideas and new sources of growth around the country. But business will feel there were some missed opportunities. Firms were looking for greater impetus on enabling legislation to speed up the race to zero, and action on business rates to stimulate investment and revive our high streets.
“The UK’s international competitiveness relies on playing to the economic strengths of our regions and nations. It’s time to turn these measures into swift and bold action.”
INSURANCE COMPANIES: GATHER YE DORMANT ASSETS
The government is planning to expand the Dormant Assets legislation to include old insurance policies, pensions or mutual savings plans etc.
Here’s an extract from today’s Speech;
The purpose of the Bill is to:
● Expand the Dormant Assets Scheme into the insurance and pensions, investment and wealth management, and securities sectors.
● Enable the social and environmental focus of the English portion of funds to be set through secondary legislation, so that over time the Scheme is able to respond more flexibly to changing social and environmental needs in England. This is in line with the model used in the devolved administrations.
The main benefits of the Bill would be:
● Unlocking around £880 million for social and environmental initiatives across the
● Protecting dormant asset owners and participating businesses while putting assets lying idle from a wider range of financial sectors to good use.
● Delivering on public commitments to expand the Scheme and maintain strong, voluntary engagement with a broad range of industry participants.