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Summary of Bills included in the Queen's Speech

The Queen's Speech this morning included the following Bills to be introduced in this Session of Parliament:

  • Office for Budget Responsibility Bill - to set up the Office for Budget Responsibility.
  • National Insurance Contributions Bill - to amend rates of National Insurance Contributions.
  • Welfare Reform Bill - to make the benefits system simpler and improve work incentives.
  • Pensions and Savings Bill - to introduce a revised timetable for increasing the State Pension age.
  • Financial Reform Bill - to give the Bank of England control of macro-prudential regulation and and oversight of micro-prudential regulation.
  • Equitable Life Bill - to provide for payments to Equitable Life policy holders.
  • Airport Economic Regulation Bill - to reform the framework for the economic regulation of airports to benefit passengers and drive investment in airport facilities.
  • Postal Services Bill - to enable an injection of private capital in the Royal Mail.
  • Energy Bill - to deliver a national programme of energy efficiency measures and promote low carbon energy production.
  • Academies Bill - to enable more schools to achieve academy status and give teachers greater freedoms over the curriculum.
  • Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill - to provide for directly elected individuals to hold the police to account, create a dedicated Border Police Force and introduce stronger powers to tackle anti-social behaviour and alcohol-fuelled violence
  • Public Bodies (Reform) Bill - to cut the number of public bodies and allow for the abolition or merger of existing quangos
  • Decentralisation and Localism Bill - to give more power to councils and neighbourhoods through, among other measures, abolishing Regional Spatial Strategies, returning decision-making powers on housing and planning to local councils, abolishing the Standards Board regime, requiring the salaries of senior official to be pubished online, allowing local residents the power to instigate referendums on any local issues or council tax rises and abolishing Home Information Packs.
  • Local Government Bill - to stop the restructuring of local government in Exeter, Norwich and Suffolk.
  • Parliamentary Reform Bill - to provide for a referendum on changing the electoral system, to reduce the number of parliamentary seats (and equalise their size), to provide for fixed term parliaments, to intorduce the "55% rule" for dissolving parliament and to allow for the recall ballots if an MP is found guilty of serious wrongdoing.
  • Draft Parliamentary Privilege Bill - to clarify the extent and scope of parliamentary privilege
  • Freedom (Great Repeal) Bill - to restore freedoms and civil liberties through restricting the scope of the DNA database, restoring rights to non-violent protest, introducing safeguards agasint the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation, regulating the use of CCTV and ending the storage of internet and email records without good reason.
  • Identity Documents Bill - to abolish identity cards and the National Identity Register.
  • Scotland Bill - to implement the recommendations of the Calman Commission
  • European Union Bill - to ensure that any future transfer of power to the EU would be subject to a referendum and that primary legisaltion would be required for use of ratchet clauses, and to ratify a Protocol to adjust the numbr of MEPs in the UK and 11 other EU countries.
  • Armed Forces Bill - to provide the legal basis for the Armed Forces and change Court Martial powers.
  • Terrorist Asset-freezing Bill - to put the UK's terrist asset-freezing regime on a secure legislative footing.

Other key non-legislative items mentioned in the Queen's Speech:

  • A commitment that the Government's first priority is to "reduce the deficit and restore economic growth" not least through an emergency budget on June 22nd.
  • The tax and benefits system to be made "fairer and simpler" with the personal income tax allowance to be increased and pensions to be linked to earnings from April 2011.
  • Enabling the construction of a high speed railway network.
  • The introduction of a limit on non EU immigration and the ending of detention of children for immigration purposes.
  • Removing barriers to flexible working and promoting equal pay.
  • Giving doctors and patients more power in the NHS and taking action to improve public health.
  • Establishment of a Commission on Long-Term Care.
  • Giving social enterprises, charities and co-opertives an enhanced role in running public services.
  • Establishment of a committee to make recommendation on House of Lords reform.
  • The pursuance of an agreement on limiting political donations.
  • Working towards an ambitious global deal on tackling climate change.
  • A full Strategic Defence and Security Review.
  • A commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on development aid from 2013.

Jonathan Isaby


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