Stephen Crabb today (27 May) said the Queen’s Speech will strengthen Wales’ place within the UK and put working people centre-stage.
Mr Crabb said the UK Government’s One Nation approach would build on the foundations laid in the last Parliament to help create jobs, economic growth and social justice for everyone in Wales who wants to get on and succeed.
Bills in the speech to benefit Wales include:
- A Wales Bill to deliver a clearer and more stable devolution settlement as promised in the St David’s Day Agreement
- An Enterprise Bill which will slash red tape and save small businesses at least £10billion over the next five years.
- A Personal Tax Allowance Bill to raise the earnings threshold at which working people begin paying income tax to £12,500 - up from the current level of £10,600.
- A European Union Referendum Bill to hold an In/Out vote on Britain’s membership of the EU by the end of 2017 to give the UK a voice and a real choice in Europe.
- A Full Employment and Welfare Benefits Bill to ensure that work pays rather than relying on benefits to deliver fairness for the taxpayer while supporting those in greatest need.
- An Immigration Bill to make sure that we are putting hard working British families first by clamping down on illegal immigration and protecting our public services.
Stephen Crabb said:
Today’s Queen’s speech will strengthen Wales’ place within the United Kingdom by taking forward the St David’s Day agreement. It boosts the engines of growth and puts working people centre-stage with radical measures to reward hard work.
Our priority is to continue to secure the economic recovery for Wales and ensure all parts of the country share in it. That means investing in infrastructure, encouraging enterprise and backing small businesses.
At the same time we are making sure that people on the lowest incomes keep more of the money they earn. We will continue to reform welfare so that people are supported back into work - but those who need help get it.
This speech builds on our achievements in the last Parliament and sets the long term direction for an ambitious and successful country.
Find out more about the Queen’s Speech
Key Bills for Wales
Most Bills in the Queen’s Speech apply in whole, or in part, to Wales. They have important benefits for working people in Wales, delivering social justice in Wales and in ensuring we strengthen the ties that bind us together as a United Kingdom. They include:
- Will make devolution clearer by introducing a ‘reserved powers’ model - the system already in place for Scotland. The National Assembly will be able to legislate on any subject unless specifically reserved to the UK Parliament.
- It will make Welsh devolution stronger through a historic transfer of powers to the National Assembly for Wales. It will empower the Assembly to manage its own affairs, to change its name, and decide how its members are elected. The Bill will also devolve additional powers to Wales in areas such as transport, energy and the environment.
Full Employment and Welfare Benefits Bill:
- Will deliver the Government’s commitment to freeze the main rates of most working age benefits.
- Reduce the level of the benefits cap in Wales, ensuring work pays; delivering fairness to the taxpayer; and continuing to support those in greatest need.
- This continues the Government’s drive for social justice. Since 2010, there are 24,000 fewer workless households in Wales and 34,000 more children seeing their parents going out to work for the first time.
- Cutting more red tape and delivering more support to the 230,000 small businesses in Wales that are the lifeblood of the Welsh economy.
- Creating a small business conciliation service to help resolve business-to-business disputes, especially over late payments.
Psychoactive Substances Bill:
- Will ban the production, distribution, sale and supply of new psychoactive substances.
- It addresses specific concerns that have been raised by the Welsh Government, who agree that legislative action is needed at the earliest opportunity to minimise the impact on communities and young people throughout Wales.
- Will promote social cohesion and protect people by tackling extremism.
- Following the horrendous attacks in Paris earlier this year, the Secretary of State for Wales visited faith groups in Wales to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to tackling extremism in our communities. This Bill will strengthen our ability to do this.
- Putting hard working families across Wales, and the rest of the UK, first.
- Rooting out illegal immigrants, cracking down on the exploitation of low paid workers and imposing a clearer bar on access to services by illegal immigrants.
Trade Unions Bill:
- Ensuring strikes are the result of clear, positive and recent decisions by union members.
- Ensuring that hard working people across the country are not disrupted by little-supported industrial action.
Read the Queen’s Speech 2015 background briefing notes here