Queen's Speech

The Prime Minister described this week's Queen's Speech as introducing a "One Nation" programme.  Measures for working people include a commitment to full employment, new apprenticeships and a big extension of free childcare.

There will be a five-year tax lock which means there will be no income tax, VAT or National Insurance rate rises in this Parliament, and measures to reform trade unions and to protect essential public services against strikes.

There was also a focus on social justice, repeating his pledge to continue to increase spending on the NHS and make it a 7-day a week service, while driving forward schools and welfare reform.

Those who flatly asserted that a referendum on the EU would never happen will have noted that a Bill will legislate for an in-out referendum on the EU to be held before the end of 2017.

The Prime Minister has already begun the process of renegotiation of Britain's membership, with a key focus being new measures to enable us to exercise more control over immigration.

There will be the promised further devolution to Scotland, but also English Votes for English Laws.

The title of the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill makes it sound of little relevance to us in West Sussex, but in fact the measures to allow local people far more sway over issues like transport and health also apply to towns and counties.

The Leader of West Sussex County Council has already floated the idea of co-operation with neighbouring counties, but there are also our district councils to consider.

Local people have called for fairness and a greater say.  I believe The Queen's Speech goes a long way towards meeting this demand.


Document type

Articles

Published

27 May 2015

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