- The PM has said boosting growth and cutting the deficit were his top priorities following defeat in local elections last week. what could be the consequences? Boosting growth and cutting the deficit have always been the top priorities of the Prime Minister and the Coalition Government, but following a difficult few months for the government and a poor result in the local elections it is seen as necessary to re-emphasize this commitment. The consequence of this may be somewhat of a shift in focus from what many see as extraneuos issues such as gay marriage, international aid, and indeed even constitional reform, to a constant an unrelenting focus and commentary on economic issues, which is what people really care about. This is why we saw these issues lead today's Queen's speech, with other issues pushed down or off the agenda. - The Government's "Plan A" of austerity could not avoid the recession. What is necesary to boost growth? To create the best environment for growth our economy needs to offer low cost of borrowing, low tax, limited regulation and easy access to the labour market. All of these targets are very much part of the government's "Plan A", but with our economy so closely linked to the US and the Eurozone it is likely that progress will come in fits and starts, equally reliant on external factors as domestic. - Is the inclusion in the Quuen's speech of the proposals to reform the House of Lords a victory for the Lib Dems? Proposals for reform of the House Lords was in the manifestos of all three main political parties. The question will be exactly what form these reforms will take. It should be noted that the House of Lords was significantly reformed already under the previous Labour government and upcoming reforms could take the form of reform to the legislatitve role of the Lords, the size of the house, term limits, the method used to appoint Lords, or at the extreme the abolition of the Lords to create a fully bi-camaral senate. Until we know the full scope of the reforms that will be implemented no party can claim political victory. What is clear is that Lords reform is not popular among the general public who broadly do not see the issue as a priority, any potential political victory is therefore likely to be limited in the polls. - What is the attitude in the Conservative Party towrads Cameron after the local elections? David Cameron has been under pressure by the grassroots of the Conservative Party increasingly over the last few months, who feel that focus on policies such as gay marriage and Lords reforms are both a distraction from necessary priorities of government and non-Conservative policies. There is an interesting contrast between Cameron's dip in popularity and the national electoral defeats of the party, and the success of Boris Johnson in his election as Mayor of London, this has given rise to questions about the future leadership of the party. - What is the most important measure of today? It is important to note that the Queen's speech sets out the government's proposed legislative agenda, not legislation itself. Importance will therefore will depend on what legislation is finally passed. Lords reform has the potential to have the greatest historical significance constitutionally, but what will be most important to the nation is the focus on economic growth and living standards. In this sense the Banking Reform Bill to create a clear seperation in competancy between commercial and investment banking may have the biggest single impact on the future structure of the British market. Read the full article in Spanish here.
Saturday, May 12, 2012