A speech centred on economic recovery – Jo


Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire has said economic recovery is the centrepiece of the Government’s plans laid out in the Queen’s speech this week

She welcomed measures to support families, small businesses and communities, protect the environment, and the commitment to helping the world’s poorest.

Local residents will welcome the introduction of a flat rate pension which is simple, progressive and ensures that the self-employed and women in particular get a fair deal. Proposals for a new system of flexible parental leave and an extended right to request flexible working will make it easier for mums and dads to make their own decisions about how they want to share caring responsibilities; giving families more choice and control.

The Queen’s speech also outlined Government plans to cut red tape for businesses, reform the banking system by separating retail and investment banking and a commitment to reform the energy sector and introduce the UK Green Investment Bank to secure green, clean, affordable energy for the long-term.

Commenting, Jo Swinson said:

“Yesterday the Coalition Government put forward plans in the Queen’s Speech to put our country on a stable footing. The plans include a number of the long-term reforms Liberal Democrats have campaigned for, such as reform of the banks.

“There was welcome news in the speech for local residents. Reforms to the State Pension system will be the most radical changes in our lifetime – making it fairer and simpler for the next generation. Combining the basic State Pension and State Second Pension in to a single tier would mean that everyone with at least 30 qualifying years would receive the same flat rate pension, currently worth around £140 a week.

“Flexible and shared parental leave will allow people to combine work and family life better. Fewer women will drop out of the labour market, losing their skills and prospects in the process and more men will have the chance to spend quality time with their new babies. Good businesses are already flexible and we want this to be the norm.

“Reform of the banking sector and the energy market will protect family savings and give energy customers a better deal, and plans to cut red tape will reduce the administrative burden on businesses.

“Our efforts to reduce the deficit, rebalance the economy and put the country on the path to sustainable growth will help build a strong future for our country.

“The Queen’s speech clearly demonstrates the UK Government’s commitment to secure a long-term recovery and I welcome these measures which will make life a bit easier for local residents in these tough economic times.”


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