How will the Queen’s Speech affect your finances?

The Queen’s Speech flagged a number of initiatives that will directly affect our pockets.

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The Civil Liability Bill will overhaul the way Courts deal with whiplash claims. It is estimated that claims for exaggerated and fabricated injuries add £35 - £40 a year to car insurance premiums.

Measures could include the following:

  • an increase in the value of claims that can be handled by the Small Claims Court (a lower cost option)
  • greater scrutiny of claimants’ medical status
  • stiffer regulation of claims management companies
  • restrictions on cash pay-outs in favour of medical and rehabilitation treatments.

The government also wants to oblige petrol stations and motorways services to provide charging points for electric vehicles.

Investment has also been promised for the continued development of autonomous vehicle technology, and insurance for these driverless vehicles will be mandatory.

No energy cap – switching saves more!

The government has decided not to implement a market-wide energy price cap, but it is considering measures to protect vulnerable customers, although the details are not yet clear.

At MoneySuperMarket, we’ve never supported the idea of a price cap because the proposed £100 saving is typically dwarfed by the savings that can be made today by switching from an expensive standard variable rate tariff to a cheap fixed rate deal.

Our calculations show that a household with average gas and electricity usage could save upwards of £200 by switching.

Fairer markets strategy

The government will also scrutinise the way markets in general behave in the pursuit of fairness for consumers.

One example of this will be a move to prevent letting agencies charging unfair fees to tenants – a reform first suggested in the 2016 Autumn Statement.

Such fees can run into hundreds of pounds and are meant to cover credit checks and taking up references.

We’ve also been promised an increase in the national living wage, measures to tackle the gender pay gap, and action to eliminate discrimination on the basis of race, faith, gender, disability and sexual orientation.

 

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