IoD Reaction to Queen’s Speech: Drastic action, as well as statements of principle, needed to restore confidence

Dated: 9 May 2012

Responding to the legislative plan for the next session of Parliament laid out in today’s Queen’s Speech, Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:

“The Government is right to place deficit reduction and economic stability at the forefront of their programme. However, we need to see them pursued enthusiastically in practice, not just in principle. To restore business confidence, which is the real key to growth, there must be drastic measures to cut costly regulation and continue to tackle the deficit. Tweaking the edges of the system will not be enough – it’s not the number of Bills that matters, it’s what is in them that really counts.”

On Parental Leave:

“Allowing parental leave to be shared is a sensible proposal that we welcome – it makes sense as an arrangement to give families more flexibility in how they use their allowance. The Government should be careful not to use this as an opportunity to increase levels of leave, though. Sharing the allowance is fine, but putting heavier burdens on business in these tough times would not be a sensible move.”

On binding shareholder votes on executive pay:

“We welcome the Government’s plans to give shareholders a binding vote in the setting of executive pay. Executive remuneration at the largest UK companies has risen at an unsustainable rate as it has decoupled from performance. It is right that shareholders are given the tools with which to exercise robust oversight.”

On closing the Audit Commission:

“It is sensible to remove this quango, given that its performance has been far from exemplary. Public money must be managed properly and spending should be scrutinised carefully, but the Audit Commission simply didn’t do the job. There remain other quangos that should follow it onto the scrapheap.”

On the Energy Bill:

“We all know that electricity market reform is urgent and essential. The devil will be in the detail – affordability must be a priority, and the Government should resist the temptation to introduce new, heavy subsidies for renewables. It is vital that a new nuclear programme goes ahead in the UK, and there must be strategy to overcome recent setbacks. British business needs affordable energy to get the job done as efficiently as possible.”

On pension reform:

“The pension system is outdated and unsuited to the realities of modern demographics. The Bills in the Queen’s speech may go some way towards improving the situation, but the urgent need for a whole new architecture for retirement savings cannot be ignored. At best these will be steps in the right direction – dramatic action will be required in the near future”.

 

ENDS

Contact Points

Edwin Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED
Tel: +44 (0)20 7451 3392
Mob: +44 (0)7814 386 243
Email: edwin.morgan@iod.com
Website: www.iod.com/policy

Notes to editors

  • The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. The IoD is a non-party political organisation with approximately 38,000 members in the United Kingdom and overseas. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum – from media to manufacturing, e-business to the public and voluntary sectors. Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies.
  • The IoD provides an effective voice to represent the interests of its members to key opinion-formers at the highest levels. These include Government ministers and their shadows, parliamentary committee members, senior civil servants and think-tanks. IoD policies and views are actively promoted to the national, regional and trade media. Follow us on Twitter to get the IoD’s reaction on business and public policy issues.
  • The IoD offers a wide range of business services which include business centre facilities, with ten UK centres (three in London, one each in Reading, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast) and one in Paris, conferences, networking events, virtual offices, issues-led guides and literature, as well as free access to business information and advisory services. The IoD places great emphasis on director development and has established a certified qualification for directors – Chartered Director – as well as running specific board and director-level training and individual career mentoring programmes.
  • For further information, visit our website: www.iod.com