The General Election campaign kicked off today, with the Queen detailing the final legislative programme before the next general election. Full summary below:
Financial Services Bill
- Strengthen and reform financial regulation, support better corporate governance, and protect and empower consumers;
- Ensure that the financial system that emerges from the crisis is one not only rebuilt on a stronger and sounder footing, but is also one that is fairer and works better for consumers.
- Put the Government's deficit reduction plan on a statutory footing, in order to half the deficit over 4 years and put debt on a sustainable path in the medium term.
- Help around 400,000 people with care needs;
- Offer for the first time free personal care at home for those with the highest needs, regardless of means;
- Be the first step towards setting up a new National Care Service - a simple, fair and affordable care system for everyone.
- Provide guarantees for parents and pupils setting out what they can expect from a 21st century schools system. These will equip every child, every family and everyone who works with them to meet the challenges ahead, and so help secure this country's success now and in the future.
- The Bill would protect communities by making parents take responsibility for their child's antisocial behaviour. The Bill would also introduce new powers to help victims break the cycle of domestic violence.
- Strengthen the nation's communications infrastructures, equipping the UK to compete and lead in the global digital economy.
- Provide support for energy consumers, giving a greater amount of help to the poorest and most vulnerable, as well as introducing a new financial incentive for carbon capture and storage demonstration projects.
- Provide better, more sustainable management of flood risk for people, homes and businesses, help safeguard community groups from unaffordable rises in surface water drainage charges and protect water supplies to the consumer.
- Provide a modern and comprehensive scheme of bribery offences to equip prosecutors and courts to deal effectively with bribery at home and abroad.
- Create prohibitions on the use, production and transfer of cluster munitions in the UK and by UK nationals, and thereby implement the UK's international obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM).
House of Lords Reform Bill
- Set out how the Government proposes to take forward the vote of the House of Commons in March 2007 in favour of a wholly or substantially elected second chamber.
- The Draft Bill would ensure that the Government spends 0.7 per cent of gross national income on Official Development Assistance from 2013.
- Set out groundbreaking new laws which will help narrow the gap between rich and poor; require businesses to report on gender pay; outlaw age discrimination; and will significantly strengthen Britain's anti-discrimination legislation.
- Enshrine in law the Government's commitment to end child poverty by 2020.
- Rebalance the relationship between Parliament, the Government and the public. It aims to rebuild trust in our democratic and constitutional settlement by reinforcing the principles of transparency, accountability and probity across government.