The Queens final speech said to be “bold” and “unashamedly pro-work and pro business” according to David Cameron and Nick Clegg

04 - 06 - 2014

During the Opening of Parliament on today the Queen is set to announce laws which the Conservative- Lib Dem coalition hopes to pass before the May 2015 poll.

A continued “boldness” from the coalition is expected as Ministers say there will be changes to annuities and funding of workplace pensions.
There is also expected to be “recalls” of failed MPs among the bills tabled.
According to Ministers, the measures said to be announced will mark a “significant step” in assisting the economic recovery and will also promote work, enterprise and opportunity,

‘Getting on’

Claims that the coalition has run out of steam will be refuted, as will claims that the months leading up to the election will be dominated by wrangling and attempts by the coalition partners to put distance between themselves ahead of Mays polls, as suggested by opposition.

Within the ceremony, the Queen is due to announce the government’s plans for the year ahead just before 11.40 BST.

A debate by MPs in the House of Commons will then take place this afternoon.

Among the measures expected to be disclosed are:

  • A bill implementing reforms to annuities announced in March’s Budget. With this in place people will not have to buy an annuity with their pension savings, and they will have more access to their retirement income if they wish, including being able to draw it out as a whole.
  • A new state-funded childcare subsidy worth up to £2,000 a year. This is being implemented to replace the existing employer-funded scheme.
  • Extra legal protection for those who find themselves involved in liability claims when carrying out good deeds, such as volunteering or planning local events.
  • Curbs on public sector employees claiming redundancy and then taking a role within the same industry.
  • There is also expected to be a 5p charge on plastic bags in England.
  • Reforms to speed up infrastructure projects.
  • New criminal sentences for those assisting organised crime, and tougher powers to seize and recover assets of crime, especially those assets received by crime bosses.
  • Help for pub landlords including a statutory code and a body to adjudicate disputes.
  • Giving voters the power to trigger by-elections when serious wrong-doing has occurred by the actions of the MPs in charge or during the elections.

 According to the Prime Minister and his deputy the measures will be put in place to help those “who want to get on in life.”

“We may be two parties, with two different philosophies but we understand one thing,” they said in a joint statement.

“Countries rise when their people rise. So this Queen’s speech is unashamedly pro-work, pro-business and pro-aspiration.”

‘Distract attention’

The changes to pensions would provide “freedom and security in retirement,” said Cameron and Clegg, suggesting they would prove to be every bit as radical as reforms to schools and welfare since 2010 in terms of empowering people.

“The legislative programme was testament to the coalition’s longevity and the fact it was still capable of taking bold steps,” they added.

Campaigners have welcomed changes in pension’s provisions but warned that although these changes are welcomed, they are not without risk, and employers and employees must be helped to make informed decisions.

Labour leader Ed Milliband called for a Queen’s speech which “signals a new direction for Britain, not one which offers more of the same.”

“We need action, we need answers, we need a programme for government equal to the scale of the challenge our country faces,” he said. “We would have a Queens’s speech with legislation which would make work pay, reform our banks, freeze energy bills and build homes again in Britain.”

“Labour would support an anti-slavery bill, if, as expected, it is among the measures” announced Angela Eagle, shadow leader of the House of Commons, told BBC 4’s Today programme.

But on the Queen’s speech as a whole, she added: “Just because the government announces it’s a bold programme, does not mean actually that it is.”

The coalition moved The State Opening of Parliament from autumn, to the early summer and is one of the highlights of the Westminster calendar.

It is, however, understood that due to the six-week summer recess taken in July and rising for a further five weeks for the party conference season in September, there will be limited time available to agree new legislation.

Six bills are also being carried over from the last session, including one authorising the building of a new high-speed rail line between London and the West Midlands.

Business groups urged the government not to over-legislate and to focus on maximising the benefits of the upturn in the economy.

“Ministers’ attention should be focused firmly on delivering existing commitments - from deregulation to infrastructure - rather than introduce a raft of new bills that distract their attention from economic growth,” said Adam Marshall, director of policy at the British Chambers of Commence.

The Green Party of England and Wales, meanwhile, has called an end for all public subsides of fossil fuels, a pay cap for executives and limiting rent increases for tenants to inflation.







Foremans LLP Umberlla
Foremans LLP