The Queen opens the new Parliament
Speech outlines Conservative-Liberal Democrat policies
THE Queen’s Speech from the throne outlined the following policies of the new Conservative and Liberal Democrat government of David Cameron.
A significant acceleration in the reduction of the UK’s state deficit, delivered mainly by cutting spending rather than increasing tax.
Reversal of the bulk of the former Labour administration’s planned rise in employers’ National Insurance contributions.
Opportunity for more schools to take up academy status.
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Abolition of ID cards and National Identity Register.
Referendums on any future EU treaty.
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Government to “examine the case’ for a UK Sovereignty Bill to make clear that ultimate authority rests in the country.
Legislation for fixed-term five-year parliaments, with a requirement for 55% Commons support to seek an earlier dissolution.
A referendum on the Alternative Vote for House of Commons elections.
A review which could bring forward the date when the state pension age increases to 66.
Annual limit “in the tens of thousands’ on non-EU migrants allowed to live and work in the UK.
A “significant increase’ in personal allowances for income tax in next month’s Budget, with a long-term goal of taking the first �10,000 out of tax.
Full strategic defence and security review.
Maintenance of Britain’s nuclear deterrent, with continued scrutiny to ensure that the renewal of Trident is value for money. Liberal Democrats will “continue to make the case for alternatives’.
New restrictions on the authorities’ use of CCTV cameras and DNA data and a ban on the storage of internet and email records without good reason.
Creation of new Border Police Force.
Directly-elected individuals to hold the police to account.
Transfer of City supervision powers to the Bank of England.
Redrawing parliamentary constituency maps to reduce numbers of MPs and make seats a similar size.
Power for voters to “recall’ errant MPs with a petition signed by 10% of electors in a constituency.
Proposals by the end of this year for a “wholly or mainly elected’ Upper House of Parliament elected by proportional representation.
Establishment of an independent Office of Budget Responsibility, taking the power to set economic forecasts out of the hands of politicians, and Office of Tax Simplification, to suggest reforms to the tax system.
Simplification of benefits system to improve the incentive to work.
Restoration of pensions link to earnings in April 2011.
Plans to reduce and simplify corporation tax rates over five years.
Capital gains tax on non-business assets to be imposed at rates close to income tax.
Support for the development of a high-speed rail network.
Part-privatisation of the Royal Mail, while retaining the network of post offices in public ownership.
An end to the detention of children in immigration cases.
Moves to give NHS clinicians more power over care provision and to enable patients to share in decisions over their treatment.
Creation of a Public Health Service to encourage people to take greater responsibility for their own health.
Independent commission on how to fund long-term care for the elderly and disabled.
Relaxation of health and safely laws to allow “commonsense policing’.
Stronger powers for police and councils to remove licences from problem pubs and clubs.
Measures to allow social enterprises, charities and co-operatives a greater role in public service provision.
Cut in number of quangos and cost of bureaucracy.
Devolution of powers over planning and housing to local councils and communities, scrapping the Infrastructure Planning Commission.
New rights for communities to take over state-run services.
Requirement for public bodies to publish salaries and expenses of senior officials online.
Residents’ referendums on local issues - including the power to veto excessive council tax rises.
National programme of domestic energy efficiency measures, along with plans for a possible “smart grid’ and Green Investment Bank.
Abolition of Home Information Packs.
Promise to pursue agreement on party funding reform “to remove big money from politics’.
Restoration of rights to non-violent protest.
Implementation of Calman Commission recommendations on Scottish devolution.
Commitment to work towards an “ambitious’ global climate change deal.
Continued commitment to working with the Afghan government to deliver lasting security and stability in the country.
Commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, particularly in relation to Iran’s suspected weapons programme.
Aid spending to reach 0.7% of national income by 2013.
Enhanced measures to freeze terrorist assets.
Extension of the right to request flexible working.
“Fair and transparent’ compensation for Equitable Life policy-holders.
A pledge to support “market-led’ investment in high-speed broadband.
Scrapping the planned creation of single-tier councils in Exeter and Norwich.