The Queen’s Speech takes place at the start of each Parliamentary session and forms the central part of the State Opening of Parliament.
The biggest shake-up of support for disabled children in 30 years and promises of more help for disabled adults were all unveiled by the Queen at the state opening of parliament. Speaking during a debate in the Commons later, Mr Cameron said his government was taking the ‘tough decisions’ to create a society where people do the right thing.
‘Let me say exactly what this Queen’s Speech is about,’ the prime minister told MPs. ‘It is about a government taking the tough, long-term decisions to restore our country to strength: Dealing with the deficit, rebalancing the economy and building a society that rewards people who work hard and do the right thing.’
But Labour leader Mr Miliband accused ministers of being ‘out of touch’ and confusing their priorities.
‘For a young person looking for work, this speech offers nothing, For a family whose living standards are being squeezed, this speech offers nothing. For the millions of people who think the government is not on their side, this speech offers nothing.’ ‘No change, no hope. That is the real message of this Queen’s Speech.’
Controversial plans to snoop on emails and text messages came one step closer today after being unveiled in the Queen’s Speech. Police will be given powers to secretly access people’s internet browsing history and see who they have been contacting, for how long and when. The measures will be published in a draft form after the Queen unveiled the Communications Data Bill in the House of Lords today.
Key points of the Queen’s Speech:
• Creation of a mainly elected Lords, to bring democratic legitimacy
• Plans for a radical reform of the banking sector to prevent future bailouts
• No commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas aid
• More power in decisions on support for elderly and disabled adults receiving care
• Creation of a US-style National Crime Agency to tackle serious and organised crime and protect borders
• Legislation to make drug-driving a specific offence
• An overhaul of electricity market to drive investment in low carbon power
• Fathers to have additional rights to see children after break-up or divorce
• Plans to speed up adoption and care proceedings and more support to disabled children
• Controversial reforms of public sector pensions
• State pension system to be reformed and simplified
• Plans to enable courts to sit behind closed doors when considering issues of national security
• Powers to monitor emails and internet communications
• New watchdog to ensure supermarkets deal fairly and lawfully with their suppliers
• Voters to be required to register individually under plans to modernise electoral system
Campaigners for gay marriage expressed disappointment that it was not included in the Queen’s Speech.
A Children and Families Bill will allow parents more flexible working and greater paternity leave for fathers after their partner has given birth.
There will be the biggest changes to pensions since David Lloyd George introduced the state pension before the First World War. A Pensions Bill will raise the retirement age to 67 and simplify payments bringing in a flat rate of £140 a week.