This Queen’s Speech marks the next big step in our long-term plan for Britain. Its aim: to secure the recovery for our country. We want a Britain that earns its keep and makes its way in the world, with a strong economy, a fair society and peace of mind for all that live here.
Its guiding principle: to back everyone who wants to get on in life. We may be 2 parties, with 2 different philosophies, but we understand 1 thing: countries rise when their people rise. So this Queen’s Speech is unashamedly pro-work, pro-business and pro-aspiration.
Its centrepiece: ground-breaking pensions reform. The reforms we plan will be the biggest transformation in our pensions system since its inception, and will give people both freedom and security in retirement. By no longer forcing people to buy an annuity, we are giving them total control over the money they have put aside over their lifetime and greater financial security in their old age. It’s all part of our wider mission to put power back in the hands of the people who have worked hard – trusting them to run their own lives. At the same time we’re completing sweeping reforms to workplace pensions to give employees more certainty about their income in retirement. Taken together, this is a revolution that matches our previous reforms to education and welfare in giving people opportunities they were previously denied.
All of this builds on what we have achieved as a coalition. It is easy to forget when we first came together in the national interest just how sceptical people were about how long the Coalition could last and how much change we could effect. 4 years on, our parties are still governing together and still taking bold steps. 4 years on, no-one can deny the progress we have made. The deficit down by a third; our economy one of the fastest-growing in the developed world; more than 1.5 million more people in work – and more people in work than ever before; a welfare system that ensures work pays; more than 1 million new apprentices; taxes cut; inequality declining and fewer children attending failing schools.
Of course, there is still a long way to go. But this Queen’s Speech marks a significant step. It builds on the foundations we have laid in the past 4 years, will help us make progress and continue to take Britain forward to a brighter future.