The speech took place on the 27th May 2015 and is the first Conservative Queen's Speech in almost two decades. David Cameron promised a Queen's Speech to 'bring Britain back together' and, as it will effect us all, understanding the jargon is undoubtedly beneficial. It can get quite convoluted and at times confusing so, for ease (yours and ours!), see below a concise summary of the legislation covered in this speech.
- Enterprise Bill
Reduce 'red tape' to help save businesses £10 billion, improve business rates system and create new body to help resolve business-to-business (B2B) disputes.
- Full Employment and Welfare Bill
Benefit cap to be lowered to £23,000 alongside a “freeze” on most working-age benefits, tax credits and child benefit for two years.
- Personal Tax Allowance
Allowance to increase to £12,500 - this will continue to rise to ensure minimum wage earners working 30 hours a week will be made ineligible for income tax.
- Tax lock commitment
No income tax, VAT or National Insurance rise before 2020.
- Childcare Bill
Double the amount of free childcare to 30 hours for three to four year olds.
- Housing Bill
Build more “starter homes” that will be sold at a 20% discount for young first-time buyers.
- Energy Bill
Create the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), giving local communities the “final say” on wind farms.
- Immigration Bill
Make”illegal working” a criminal offence, extending the principle “deport first, appeal later” to all immigration cases.
- Trade Unions Bill
Disallow strikes unless 40% of all eligible union members vote for industrial action.
- Education and Adoption Bill
Instigate new powers allowing “coasting” and failing schools to be converted into academies.
- EU Referendum Bill
Convening an In/Out vote on Britain’s membership of the European Union by the end of 2017.
- Health and Social Care
Create a seven-day NHS as well as increasing funding to £8bn extra a year by 2020.
- Cities and Local Government
Present a growth deal for Greater Manchester and "Northern Powerhouse" plans.
- State Pension
State pensions will be protected by a "triple lock" - rising in line with the highest of growth in earnings, inflation or 2.5%.
- Scotland Bill
Implement the Smith Commission, giving Scottish Parliament control to set income tax bands and alter their welfare policy.
- The High Speed Rail Bill
Introducing the first stage of the railway from London to the West Midlands.
- English votes for English laws
Provide “fairer procedures” to ensure decisions affecting England can only be taken with a majority by English MPs.
- Extremism Bill
Introduce powers to ban extremist groups, close radical mosques as well as allowing Ofcom to better control extremist broadcasts.
- Police and Criminal Justice Bill
Limit initial pre-charge bail to 28 days as normal, ensuring any extensions beyond three months will require judicial approval.
- Psychoactive Substances Bill
Introducing a blanket ban on the production, distribution, sale and supply of legal highs - a criminal offence with up to seven years in prison.
- Proposals for a British Bill of Rights
Proposals for new legislation to replace the existing Human Rights Act.
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