Doncaster Chamber Says That Today’s King’s Speech Was A Missed Opportunity To Reassure Businesses
Reacting to the content of today’s King’s Speech, Doncaster Chamber believes that Government has missed a vital opportunity to show that it apprehends the plight of businesses here in the North.
Marking the start of the Parliamentary year, the King’s Speech is used by Government to set out their various legislative plans for the weeks and months ahead. The 2023 iteration of this address, which was delivered earlier this morning, placed a big emphasis on criminal justice, as well as oil and gas licencing.
However, there was comparatively very little in the way of new policy proposals to reassure businesses in places like South Yorkshire. In fact, while the speech did outline some laudable ambitions for the UK — in terms of stimulating economic growth, bringing down inflation and creating new jobs — it failed to articulate exactly how these goals will be achieved.
Just yesterday, Doncaster Chamber issued a statement calling for a more business-friendly King’s Speech and even complied a wish list of key asks that, if implemented, would allow government to show that they truly understand the needs and wants of firms on the ground. Given that nothing specific was announced today, and that the speech was generally lacking in fresh ideas, the Chamber is now arguing that an opportunity has been missed and is therefore urging Government to provide further detail as soon as possible, to help provide confidence during such difficult economic times.
Expanding upon this, Frank Horsley, Head of Policy and Partnerships at Doncaster Chamber, said: “Although the King’s Speech is not intended to go into forensic detail with any legislative plans, and we still have an Autumn Statement on the horizon, this was nevertheless an underwhelming look at Government’s ambitions for the coming months and we will continue to press them for concrete initiatives that will positively support our businesses in Doncaster.
“Now is the time for bold policies that will help firms get through these challenging times. In the face of great upheaval and assorted macroeconomic headwinds, our business communities have weathered a fierce storm over the past few years and really impressed us with their grit, resilience and determination.
“Yet they still need to know that Government has their best interests at heart. With that said, today’s King’s Speech could have, and should have, gone a lot further to assure them of this.
“There were some encouraging references to things like: increasing high quality apprenticeships; investing in emerging industries; and regenerating towns, but not enough clarity on how these various aspirations will be realised or funded. For example, the speech failed to explain how funding from the cancelled HS2 project will be reinvested into the North’s transport infrastructure, beyond a vague commitment to delivering faster and more reliable journeys.
“As noted by our Umbrella Body, the British Chambers of Commerce, the speech also made no mention of planning reforms and was conspicuously light on detail when it came to the Government’s proposals for renewables and global trade. These are all areas in which businesses need reassurance and clarity, so that they can invest and plan for the future with confidence.”
On the subject of policy, Doncaster Chamber is currently in the early stages of drafting a Business Manifesto for our city. Once published, this will go into more granular detail about what local organisations want to see from the vision for Doncaster and how these goals can be reached. More information about this Manifesto will be communicated in the new year.