Queen's Speech does little to allay business' recession fears

With the headline 'Which Queen? Which speech? Who Cares?' Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein has, Smarta suspects, hit the nail on the head.

And this one felt as though it was particularly inconsequential: with a general election due to take place no later than June 3, few of the Bills mentioned in the speech will ever make it before the statute books.

"Their political foes will point out that laws as gestures or aspirations - promising to halve the deficit, to halve child poverty and to give every child a legal right to good schooling - are worth little more than the paper they're written on," pointed out BBC political editor Nick Robinson: the government's collective imagination is geared more towards making sure The People hear what they want to hear than bringing forward important and/or controversial bills.

So what did she say? Not an awful lot which will have much effect on small businesses - but then again, why mention business when you can promise to halve the deficit or tackle gang crime? Much more appealing to tabloid readers.

In her opening line, she said the government's 'overriding priority is to ensure sustained growth to deliver a fair and prosperous economy for families and businesses, as the British economy recovers from the global economic downturn'.

"By the active creation of jobs, restructuring the financial sector, strengthening the national infrastructure and providing responsible investment, my government will foster growth and employment."

About six months ago, 'small business' enjoyed a brief stint as politics' most hotly-debated issue. In the House of Commons, David Cameron and Gordon Brown battled it out over business rates, while newspapers championed the causes of various entrepreneurs who were struggling to get access to bank funding.

In the run-up to the general election, small businesses must not be forgotten.

Today, though, Finkelstein's predictions were fairly accurate: "This a day when everyone will get dressed up, the Queen will speak, Gordon Brown will speak and David Cameron will speak. Everyone will go home again and nothing of any political significance will have happened."

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