19 new laws for the year ahead were announced today by The Queen in the House of Lords.
The Speech promised 19 Government Bills, including four in draft form, focusing on
- economic growth,
- justice and
- constitutional reform.
Key points of the Speech:
• Plans for a radical reform of the banking sector, to prevent future bailouts.
• Creation of a mainly elected House of Lords, to bring democratic legitimacy.
• More power in decisions on support for elderly and disabled adults receiving care.
• Creation of a US-style National Crime Agency to tackle serious and organised crime and protect borders.
• Legislation to make drug-driving a specific offence.
• An overhaul of the electricity market, to drive investment in low carbon power.
• Fathers to have additional rights to see children after break-up or divorce.
• Plans to speed up adoption and care proceedings, with more support for disabled children.
• Reforms of public sector pensions.
• State pension system to be reformed and simplified.
• Plans to enable courts to sit behind closed doors when considering issues of national security.
• Powers to monitor emails and internet communications.
• New watchdog to ensure supermarkets deal fairly and lawfully with their suppliers.
• Voters to be required to register individually under plans to modernise electoral system.
Breaking tradition, Cameron and Clegg published a joint introduction to the Speech; insisting that the Coalition’s main focus over the coming year will remain on bringing down the state deficit and promoting economic growth.
They said: “The primary task of the Government remains ensuring that we deal with the deficit and stretch every sinew to return growth to the economy, providing jobs and opportunities to hard-working people across Britain who want to get on.”
They also reiterated that although it isn’t their top priority; that it is right to press ahead with the controversial reforms – which featured in all 3 of the major parties manifestos, in the 2010 general election.
They went on to say: “We believe that power should be passed from the politicians at Westminster back to the people of Britain, which is why we will keep the promise in our parties’ manifestos and reform the House of Lords, because those who make laws for the people should answer to the people.”
Plans for radical reforms of the banking sector, to prevent future bailouts.
The white paper, outlining how the government intends to force banks to erect a ring-fence between their high street and the investments, will be published alongside the Chancellor’s set-piece speech next month.
The ICB, chaired by Sir John Vickers, also included recommendations on strengthening competition amongst high street banks, by making it easier to move bank accounts. There were also proposals about “depositor preference” which would allow savers to get their money back when a bank goes bust before other creditors. This is intended to reduce the need for taxpayer bailouts.
While the Vickers’ legislation is expected to be passed by 2015, the banks are likely to have until 2019 to implement the ring-fences.
At Landlord Referencing we believe ring-fencing is a great idea to protect public money, savers, etc. Investment banking is a form of gambling and it is the same for everybody; if you take a gamble with your rent money you may win on several occasions, but you’ve only got to lose once and you can’t pay the rent – AKA Double Dip Recession.
We would love to hear your views on any of the proposed government bills – ALL views are welcome!