Dear Queen, here's everything business wants you to say in your speech

What do businesses really want the Queen to say? (Source: Getty)

On Wednesday the Queen will give her Speech from the Throne, setting out the policy plan for the Conservative government.

Big topics to be covered include the EU referendum, which Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to hold within the next two years, housing, immigration, and devolution for cities outside London.
Many of the policies will affect business in the UK, so what exactly are the leaders of the field hoping for?

A strong commitment to EU reforms

The Prime Minister has promised to hold an EU referendum before the end of 2017, but first he's trying to renegotiate the UK's relationship with Europe.
What business leaders want is not for UK to turn its back on the EU, but rather to come away with solid changes that allow UK business to prosper without losing out on the benefits of EU membership.
Out of all members of the Institute of Directors (IOD), only seven per cent believe leaving the union would be beneficial for the UK.
Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, told City A.M. a “genuinely achievable reform agenda” that makes the UK and EU more competitive was top of business leaders' priority list.

Reduced regulation and slashing red tape

With more and more regulations being imposed on businesses, many feel it's holding them back and creating too much bureaucracy. Hall says she would like to see red tape “slashed”.
“Firms will want to see meaningful progress on slashing red tape that holds back the enormous potential of our firms, on delivering the proposals agreed in the draft Scotland Bill, and on working with city regions on devolved powers to drive growth for all parts of the country.”
Simon Walker, Director General of the IOD, told City A.M. the tighter regulations were expensive for many members:
Despite the positive steps taken in the last Parliament, it is still costly and complex for IoD members to comply with the wide array of regulation which falls upon them. So it’s welcome that the new Business Secretary has taken this early opportunity to commit to further reducing the red-tape burden for British businesses.
Businesses do not care whether a regulation comes from Whitehall or Brussels, it has the same effect. To be truly ambitious, any plan to reduce regulation must look at the overall burden, European and domestic.

An end to easy striking

Strikes can end up being very costly for businesses – people are late for work or can't get in at all when transport strikes take place, while other disruptions to public services can greatly impact the smooth running of events.
Walker believes it is not right that public sector workers can currently strike with the support of only a handful of the total number who could vote: “The right to strike is a fundamental part of our democracy, but that does not mean that public sector unions should be able to bring mass disruption to commuters, parents and people who need public services on the basis of flimsy votes.”
He said a reform on minimum turnout requirements and an end to the ban on using agency workers would be both “pragmatic” and “long overdue”.

Measures to boost businesses' exports

Small and medium sized businesses would like the government to implement measures which would help them to export more overseas.

Mike Reeves, joint managing director of small and medium sized enterprises banking at Santander, told City A.M.:

We’d like to see further steps to help small and medium sized enterprises – in particular, by incentivising small and medium sized businesses to research new export markets and invest the time to consider international expansion

Overseas expansion has intrinsic long-term rewards resulting in a bigger and more stable business than could be grown domestically, but small and medium sized enterprises are often time-poor and there needs to be a more immediate incentive for companies to investigate international expansion."

Solving the housing crisis

The property sector wants the government to set out a clear policies to help solve Britain's housing crisis, involving relaxing regulation to make it easier to build the thousands of new homes desperately needed.

Nevertheless they're critical of the government's plans to revive right-to-buy because it'll lead to less available homes in an already struggling system.

Adam Challis, head of residential research at JL, said:

A stronger housebuilding sector is the only way to solve the UK's housing crisis, while also adding construction jobs. Creating bandwidth – and resilience – in housing delivery must be the main goal of the industry and political counterparts.

But the 1,000,000+ new homes we need over the course of this parliament won’t be delivered overnight; this Government needs to stay on track but increase the pace. We remain concerned about the expansion of Right to Buy. Government should be investing to create a vast quantity of new affordable homes, not taking stock out of the system.”

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