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Queen's Speech: full list of Bills

posted 13 Mar 2009, 15:01 by Dilwoar Hussain   [ updated 13 Mar 2009, 15:08 ]

Times Online

The programme of legislation outlined today is heavily slimmed down because, in light of the recession, the Government decided many Bills looked irrelevant or even self-indulgent. There are 14 new Bills, compared with the 18 flagged up only a few months ago.

Banking Bill

Intended to stop banks getting into trouble, but helping depositors when they do. It will also be used to try to get the banks lending again although that is a much wider task that Lord Mandelson, Business Secretary, is spearheading with a mixture of exhortation and threats to banking chiefs.

Savings Gateway Accounts Bill

Aims to create a new financial incentive for eight million of the UK’s poorest people to save, with the Government contributing 50p for every £1 saved.

Welfare Reform Bill

Will introduce new requirements for disabled people and single parents to seek work, with the aim to cut Incapacity Benefit claimants by one million, help 300,000 lone parents and one million older people into work and achieve an all-time high employment rate of 80 per cent. The Bill will also abolish Income Support in favour of a new streamlined system of out-of-work benefits.

Education Bill

Local authorities will get the power to take action against under-performing schools and parents will have a clearer route for complaints about schools. Schools to be given powers to search pupils for alcohol, drugs and stolen goods. Top schools will also face fewer Ofsted inspections and there will be a requirement that all secondary schools work in Behaviour Improvement Partnerships

Crime and policing Bill

Police seeking to stop paedophiles travelling abroad will find it easier to get court orders under the Bill. Only a handful of Foreign Travel Orders have been given to convicted child sex offenders trying to leave the country - despite fears over “sex tourism” overseas. The Bill will remove the requirement for police to produce evidence from the last six months when applying for orders. New airport security arrangements will be introduced to improve co-operation between Britain’s security agencies.

Coroners and Justice Bill

ore protection for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses. It will stop criminals from making profits by exploiting stories about their crimes. A new death certification system to provide reassurance there has been an independent checking of the causes of death. Creation of the office of the Chief Coroner, who will put national standards in place and monitor compliance. It will clamp down on websites which promote suicide. It will make explicit that assisting suicide is a crime as much online as off.

Equality Bill

To deal with the gender pay gap. It will require public bodies to give due regard to the need to tackle discrimination and promote equality.

Poverty Bill

The Government’s commitment to eradicate child poverty by 2020 will be enshrined in law.

Health Bill

To strengthen the National Health Service and reinforce the new NHS Constitution setting out the rights of patients and staff. . It will introduce measures to improve the quality of health care and public health but the Department of Health refused to say whether it would make it illegal to have cigarette advertising in shops.

Immigration Bill

Will create an “earned citizenship” scheme for foreigners who want to become British. Newcomers will have to earn the right to stay in the UK and be given a new “path to citizenship”.

Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill

Aimed at allowing local councils to take a greater role in local economic development. The bill will improve current legislation on commercial contracts to provide more cash flow to construction companies struggling with the economic downturn.

Marine Bill

Will manage marine resources by creating conservation zones which would protect habitats and species such as eelgrass beds, seahorses and sea fans and create a new public right of way the coastline.

Constitutional Reform

A Bill for reform of the constitution will be brought in only “when time allows” in the next Parliamentary year the Government said today. Moves to allow MPs a say on going to war and greater scrutiny of treaties were trumpeted by Gordon Brown when he became Prime Minister last year.

But, with recession-fighting measures now central to the Government’s plans, there was no Bill to enact the constitutional “renewal” reforms in today’s Queen’s Speech.

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