My colleagues in the PA department have written a wonderful analysis of the Queens’s speech. This is available for download here.
This year’s Speech outlines the Government’s final programme of planned laws ahead of the General Election and has focused on a range of priority political issues. Included are measures to tackle the nation’s finances through putting into law a pledge to halve the budget deficit within four years, a Bill to prevent a repeat of the recession by stopping “reckless” bankers from getting bonuses and plans to improve welfare services, for instance by providing free social care for the most needy.
Headline points include:
- Financial Services Bill
- Fiscal Responsibility Bill
- Energy Bill
- Digital Economy Bill
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties outlined their respective opposition to the Speech this year before it was even made, with both stating that most of the Bills within the Speech will not become law, with a General Election due by June 2010,
and that consequently the Speech is little more than a Labour Party manifesto, considered by the Conservative leader David Cameron to be a “waste of time”.
The Government and Conservative Party continued their debate today about the practical reality of introducing so many Bills with so little time left before the General Election to bring them on to the Statute Book (there are 10 new bills and three Bills carried over from the last parliamentary year in this year’s Speech, with around only 70 days left when Parliament will sit before the General Election must be called). The Government continues to argue that “most” of the proposed Bills will be passed before the next election, whereas the Conservative Party has stated that its peers are prepared to obstruct many of the proposals in order to prevent this.
Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, went even further than the Conservative Party in his criticism, stating that it should not even have taken place this year as the Government instead should have focused on the more pressing priority of reforming parliamentary expenses and spending in order to win back the trust of the general public.