The Queen’s Speech took place on 8 May 2013, setting out the UK Government’s legislative programme for the year ahead. The programme builds on the reforms we have already taken through in this Parliament to tackle the economic and social legacy that was left to us.
The UK Government’s third legislative programme focuses on growth and deficit reduction, and social reform. It is all about backing people who work hard and want to get on in life, and making it easier for businesses to thrive. We will bring forward 17 Bills and 2 draft Bills over the next twelve months, with 10 Bills already introduced in the new session.
A number of measures will go a long way to helping businesses in Wales and help boost the Welsh economy, firing up our private sector and creating the jobs people need.
Our National Insurance Contributions Bill will cut the cost of recruiting new employees, particularly for small businesses, and the Deregulation Bill will further reduce the burden of unnecessary legislation on firms looking to grow. We have also introduced legislation to help businesses protect their intellectual property, which is vital for innovators across the UK, including in Wales. We also want to make sure that businesses treat their customers fairly, and will bring forward the Consumer Rights Bill to simplify and consolidate the law in this area.
We are also bringing forward legislation to take forward important social reforms.
The Pensions Bill will create a simple flat rate pension that encourages saving and rewards people in retirement for contributing throughout their lives. The Immigration Bill will further reform Britain’s immigration system, strengthening enforcement powers and taking action to protect our public services. We have already introduced legislation that will do more to tackle anti-social behaviour to keep our neighbourhoods safe and secure, and legislation to transform the way we rehabilitate offenders to tackle persistent re-offending. We have also introduced legislation to ensure sufferers of a certain asbestos-related cancer receive payments where no liable employer or insurer can be traced.
We will also reform the water industry through the Water Bill, to make the water sector more resilient in the face of natural hazards such as droughts and floods, increase customer choice and support growth by encouraging investment and innovation.
All of these Bills will deliver direct benefits to Wales. Our programme also includes a draft Wales Bill, implementing measures relating to the election of Members of this Assembly, on which the Government consulted last year.
In May 2010 the Coalition Government came together to govern in the national interest. We knew the road ahead would be tough and so it has proved to be. Three years on, our resolve to turn our country around has never been stronger and this legislative programme clearly demonstrates that resolve.