Public services’ headlines from the Queen’s Speech

Friday 20 December 2019

Much of the Queen’s Speech on 19 December resembled the last one in October but there were some post-election changes for public services.

In the Queen’s Speech the Government pledged to:

Business rates

  • Bring forward changes to business rates.

Children and safeguarding

  • Develop legislation to improve internet safety for all.
  • Online Harms Bill.
  • Less of a commitment to take unaccompanied refugee children from Europe.


  • An increase levels of funding per pupil in every school.


  • Workers’ rights protection to be enshrined in a new bill.
  • Measures to encourage flexible working, and to introduce the entitlement to leave for unpaid carers.
  • Pension Schemes Bill.


  • Targets for air quality enshrined in law for the first time.


  • Support home ownership, including First Homes, a first-time buyers’ discount for locals and key workers, with homes sold at 30 per cent below market price.
  • Protect tenants and improve building safety, including new requirements for a Fire Safety Order.
  • A new building safety regulator.
  • Renters’ Reform Bill, Fire Safety Bill, Building Safety Bill.
  • Abolish no-fault evictions and introduce lifetime deposits for renters (A Better Deal for Renters.)
  • A new reformed shared ownership model. (The Shared Ownership Right to Buy did not appear in the Queen’s Speech.)
  • Renew the Affordable Homes programme.
  • Implement all recommendations from the first Grenfell report.
  • Bring forward the Social Housing White Paper.
  • Introduce a Planning White Paper.
  • Reform to unfair leasehold practises.


  • A modern, fair, points-based immigration system for skilled workers from across the world to contribute to the United Kingdom’s economy, communities and public services.
  • Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill.
  • A new visa for qualified doctors, nurses and health professionals with fast-track entry to the United Kingdom.

Local government and devolution

  • Prioritise investment in the country’s public services and infrastructure.
  • Prioritise investment in infrastructure and world-leading science research and skills.
  • Give communities more control over how investment is spent so they can decide what is best for them.
  • Introduce a single £10 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to provide new schools, roads and GP surgeries.


  • NHS bill to enshrine in law a £33.9 billion cash increase in funding by 2023-4.
  • Hospital car parking charges removed for those in greatest need.
  • Reform the Mental Health Act.


  • New laws requiring schools, police, councils and health authorities to work together to prevent serious crime.
  • Serious Violence Bill.

Social care

  • Seek cross-party consensus on proposals for long-term reform of social care. No one who needs care will have to sell their home to pay for it.

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