Barriers to accessing pension savings will be removed it has been revealed in today’s Queen’s Speech, while a new ‘Lifetime Savings Bill’ will establish a Help to Save scheme and Lifetime ISAs.
Other measures that were announced included a range of moves to modernise the UK’s economy, including encouraging the spread of the use of drones by businesses and individuals, as well as a legal right to fast broadband connections for every household.
Although some of the Government’s measures were aimed at ensuring Britain’s economic recovery does not start to turn too sour, bodies such as the CPID have argued that the Government is not doing enough to ease the UK’s continuing productivity problem.
“Given that the UK’s productivity is continuing to stagnate, it’s hard to understand why improving workplace productivity doesn’t seem to figure in the Government’s priorities. Improving this is the key to increasing wages, enhancing services and building stability and success into the economy for the long term. Businesses – particularly small firms – need more support from Government to help them improve workplace practices that can unlock productivity improvements,” Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy for the CIPD commented.
“Furthermore, we need an economy that creates more high-skilled jobs and a strategy to achieve this. The UK has the second highest level of over-qualification in the OECD, suggesting that making use of existing skills in the workplace through better leadership and people management, as well as job design, is just as important as increasing the supply of graduates.”
Willmott went onto cast doubt on the Government’s continuing policy of focusing on the training of young people who are about to enter the workplace.
“There is still far too much focus on training ‘young people’ for entry to the workplace, but this is just the thin end of the wedge, Willmott commented. “To keep people in work, their skills fresh and to enable them to make a meaningful, productive contribution to work, businesses must take steps to develop them and encourage a culture of lifelong learning. This also means a much stronger Government focus is needed on developing further education and adult skills to support life-long learning.”