The Queen opened the new Parliament yesterday in a ceremonial style which only the British can carry off.
Prime Minister David Cameron has hailed the Queen’s Speech, which outlines the government’s plans and Bills for the coming Parliament, as a “radical programme for a radical government”.
The 22 Bills include plans for major reform of schools, police, welfare and Britain’s political system.
But cutting the nations huge deficit remains the Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition’s “first priority”.
Unveiling the proposals earlier in the House of Lords, the 58th time she has done so during her reign, the Queen said: “My government’s legislative programme will be based upon the principles of freedom, fairness and responsibility.”
Flagship measures include scrapping ID cards and the next generation of biometric passports and a Freedom (Great Repeal) Bill – regulating the retention of DNA and the use of CCTV cameras.
Among the other measures outlined in the Queen’s Speech are a proposed ban on the sale of alcohol below cost price in England and Wales, with greater powers for councils and police to close down trouble-making pubs and clubs.
There are also proposals to place an annual limit on non-EU immigration, which does not need primary legislation, and plans to “remove barriers to flexible working and promote equal pay”.
There are pledges to slash the number of quangos and cut bureaucracy to save £1bn a year.
A Welfare Reform Bill is promised to simplify the benefits system, and the state pension age could be increased to 66 sooner than the present 2024 timetable as part of measures to pay for restoring the link between state pensions and earnings. Source: BBC.
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