State Opening of Parliament

It was a pleasure today to be in Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament.  Britain always puts on a good show for ceremonies such as this and today was no exception.

The Queen’s Speech, in which Her Majesty outlines the Government’s aims for the Parliamentary year, showed real ambition in the fight for economic growth and supporting hard working people.  The Government has already made good progress: income tax has been cut for twenty-four million people, immigration is down by a third, crime is down by ten per cent and a third of Britain’s deficit has been cut.  Today’s speech was a signal of intent from the Government – there is more to be done and here is how it will be done.

Immigration

The UK has thrived throughout history by attracting the brightest and best to live and work here.  Our economy and culture have benefitted beyond measure from outside influence, but more needs to be done to ensure that those who will not play a positive roll will not come here.  The Government will introduce a bill to ensure that those who are not entitled to our public services may not access them.  Landlords will have a duty to check the immigration status of tenants.  Equally importantly, Article 8 of the Human Rights Act (the right to a family life) will no longer be abused to allow criminals to remain in the UK.

National Insurance

The cost of recruiting new employees will be reduced – businesses will receive a £2,000 Employment Allowance from April 2014.  This will help small and medium size businesses in Great Yarmouth and across the country to hire new people and expand their businesses.

Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing

The Government will introduce a bill to ensure that the response to anti-social behaviour will focus on the rights of the victims and give people powers to make sure action is taken.  New measures will also be introduced to encourage responsible dog ownership, tackle the use of illegal firearms by gangs and strengthen the protection of the victims of forced marriage.

The speech included other important bills, including Offender Rehabilitation, Care for the Elderly, Pensions and Deregulation.  The full text of the speech may be found here.

As ever, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the Queen’s Speech, or any other matter.