The Government announced its legislative programme for the coming year on 18 May 2016, with a number of Bills of interest for the building society sector. A brief outline of what we can expect follows, with further information due as Bills are published in the coming months.
Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill (Department for Communities & Local Government)
This Bill will reform planning and give local communities more power and control to shape their own area so that when more houses are built, everyone who “works hard” has the chance to buy their own home. It will include:
Lifetime Savings Bill (Treasury)
- Measures to reform and speed up the planning process by minimising delays caused by pre-commencement planning conditions.
- A new statutory basis for the independent National Infrastructure Commission, to help invest in Britain’s long-term future.
- Streamlined processes supporting neighbourhoods to come together to agree plans that will decide where things get build in their local areas.
Criminal Finances Bill (Treasury)
- This Bill will help people to save and make plans for the future, so the financial resilience and security of people across the country is built up, especially the young and those on low incomes. It will include:
- The new Help to Save scheme, which will help those with lower incomes build up their savings. Workers in receipt of working tax credits or Universal Credit who save up to £50 a month will receive a Government bonus of 50% - to a maximum of £600 – after two years.
- A new Lifetime ISA for young people, with a Government top up bonus of 25% on all savings up to £4,000 a year.
This Bill will cement the UK’s leading role in the fight against international corruption, crack down on money laundering and people profiting from crime. It will include:
- Measures to reform proceeds of crime legislation to allow the Government to recoup more illicit income.
- A new criminal offence for corporations that fail to stop staff facilitating tax evasion.
- New rules to toughen the UK’s anti-money laundering regime.
Pensions Bill (Treasury)
- The purpose of the Bill is to:
- Further reform Britain’s private pensions system by:
- Providing essential protections for people in Master Trusts – multi-employer pension schemes often provided by external organisations.
- Remove barriers for consumers who want to access their pension savings flexibly.
- Restructure the delivery of financial guidance to consumers.
The BSA will continue to monitor the parliamentary programme and engage on behalf of its members, where appropriate.