State Opening of Parliament - Queen's Speech

Today the Queen delivered her State Opening of Parliament speech for 2016 which focused on using the strengthening economy to: deliver security for working people; increase life chances for the most disadvantaged; and, strengthen our national security.  

  1. Deliver security for working people

This is the next step in our long-term economic plan for our country. Whether it is continuing to bring the public finances under control so that Britain lives within its means; delivering the infrastructure that British business needs to carry on creating jobs; making our country a world leader in the digital economy; spreading prosperity across our country and building a Northern Powerhouse; or supporting aspiration by promoting home ownership, this is a Queen’s Speech that delivers on the Government’s promise of providing security at every stage of people’s lives.  

  •  Digital Economy Bill: to ensure full access to affordable high speed internet connection across the country.
  •  Modern Transport Bill: putting Britain at the forefront of the modern transport revolution and enable the future development of the UK’s first commercial spaceports, and laws relating to pioneering driverless cars.
  • Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill: giving local communities more power to build more houses, and giving everyone who works hard the chance to buy their own home.
  • Local Growth and Jobs Bill: giving local authorities full control of the money they raise through business rates, so they can attract business and investment to their local areas.

 Increase life chances for the most disadvantagedThis Queen’s Speech includes bold reforms that tackle some of the deepest social problems in our country by removing barriers to opportunity, giving children in care the best possible start in life, reforming our prisons; transforming the education system, and helping people save. Bills include: 

  • Children and Social Work Bill: improving the standard of social work and opportunities for young people in care, improvements to our adoption process and new system of regulating social workers.
  • Education for All Bill: expanding the academies programme in the poorest performing local authority areas and a new funding formula to deliver fair funding for every school and pupil in the country
  • Higher Education and Research Bill: measures to make it easier for new high quality universities to open and new requirements on all universities to publish detailed information about application, offer and progression rates to put a spotlight on social mobility.
  • Prisons and Courts Reform Bill: ensuring prisons are not just a place of punishment but also rehabilitation, so everyone has the chance to get on the right track. It will include new powers for prison governors to allow them unprecedented levels of control over all aspects of prison management.
  • Lifetime Savings Bill: helping people to save and make plans for the future, so we build the financial resilience and security of people across the country – especially the young and those on low incomes. It will include the new Help to Save scheme and a new Lifetime ISA for young people.
  • National Citizen Service Bill: expanding the Government’s hugely successful National Citizen Service so more young people can mix with people of other backgrounds, and learn what it means to serve their community.

 Strengthen our national securityThe first duty of Government is to keep our country safe. So this is a Queen’s Speech that invests in Britain’s armed forces, secures the long-term future of our nuclear deterrent and gives our security and intelligence agencies the powers they need to keep us safe. 

  • Bill of Rights: will support and reinforce Britain’s long-standing commitment to human rights and restore common sense to the way human rights law is applied. It will include measures to reform and modernise the UK human rights framework, and protections against abuse of the system and misuse of human rights laws.
  • Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill: gives law enforcement agencies new powers to protect vulnerable people – including children – from those who seek to brainwash them with extremism propaganda.
  • Criminal Finances Bill: will cement the UK’s leading role in the fight against international corruption, cracking down on money laundering and people profiting from crime, so that we root out corruption. It will include a new offence for corporations failing to prevent tax evasion.
  • Policing and Crime Bill: is the next phase in our reform of the police, reforming out-of-date complaints and disciplinary procedures, so we increase public confidence in the people who keep us safe.
  • Investigatory Powers Bill: will fill holes in our security apparatus so that we give law enforcement agencies the tools they need to protect the public in the digital age, while building confidence in the public that powers are operated sensibly.