By Lyndsey Hall
Yesterday, the Queen travelled to the House of Lords and, amid the obligatory pomp and ceremony, gave her first formal speech of the new Conservative government.
With almost twenty years since the last Conservative-only Queen’s Speech, the eyes of the country were on the monarch as she announced the programme of new laws that this government have promised to bring in over the next five years. The proposed legislation includes:
Full Employments and Welfare Benefits Bill
Government will work to achieve full employment, and will be required to report annually on job creation and apprenticeships. The Troubled Families Programme will expand, and benefits will be capped, encouraging young people to “earn or learn”.
Red tape will be cut for small businesses, allowing them to create more jobs.
Those working thirty hours a week on National Minimum Wage will not pay income tax, and there will be a five year freeze on income tax, rates, VAT and National Insurance.
Provision of childcare for working parents will increase.
Right-to-Buy will be extended to Housing Association tenants.
Immigration controls will tighten.
Trade Unions Bill
Trade Unions will be reformed and essential public services will be protected against strikes.
Education and Adoption Bill
They will invest in improving schools, and new powers will be introduced to take over failing and coasting schools, and create more academies.
Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill
Devolution of powers to cities with elected metro mayors will go ahead.
High-speed rail links between different parts of the country will be a focus.
Scotland Bill, Wales Bill and Northern Ireland Bill
A wide range of powers will be devolved to Scotland and Wales, and the Stormont House Agreement will take effect in Northern Ireland.
EU Referendum Bill
Our relationship with the EU will be renegotiated, and by 2017 an “in-out” referendum will take place.
Investigatory Powers Bill
The law on communications data will be modernised.
The Queen also spoke about the National Health Service, and our Foreign Policy, before stating that “Other measures will be laid before you”.
For the full text of yesterday’s Queen’s Speech, click here.
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