Queen’s Speech 2008: Economy

The Queen’s Speech put forward more support for the financial sector today, as the government seeks to take the UK out of recession.

Reading the speech written by the government, the Queen said: “My government’s overriding priority is to ensure the stability of the British economy during the global economic downturn.

“My government is committed to helping families and businesses through difficult times.”

She added: “The strength of the financial sector is vital to the future vibrancy of the economy.”

The speech announced legislation to ensure fairer and more secure protection for bank depositors and to improve the resilience of the financial sector.

Part of this will include the banking reform bill which will stop banks from treating consumers unfairly by quickly changing the conditions and interest rates on loans and misleading them about the best deals available to them.

This will be enforced by the strengthening of the currently voluntary banking code – making it legally-binding.

The code will be policed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which will have the power to give firms unlimited fines for failing to comply.

The legislative programme for the coming year will also include the Saving Gateway programme – where the government will match savings from low income families.

“My government will also bring forward proposals to create Saving Gateway Accounts to encourage people on lower incomes to save more by offering financial incentives,” the Queen stated.