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Queens speech: Tax cut, welfare cap, and free increased childcare

1Bangla Mirror Desk: 

The Conservatives have a “golden opportunity” to back working people in Britain, David Cameron has said, as his Queen’s Speech set out a series of measures to cut taxes, create jobs and cut immigration.

Setting out his majority Conservative Government’s legislative programme, Mr Cameron vowed to use the next five years to “build something special” as he set out plans for 21 bills over the next Parliament.

The Queen’s Speech contained laws to cut taxes for 30 million people, reduce the benefits cap from £26,000 a year to £23,000 a pledge to increase free childcare for working families.

The speech also included legislation to hold an EU referendum by the end of 2017 at the latest. The legislation is being fast-tracked, which could see a referendum take place as early as next summer.

In one of the most controversial new laws, union members will be required to “opt in” paying the political levy which is used to fund Labour. The reforms could represent a significant cut to Labour’s funding, and will be seen as an aggressive move by Mr Cameron after securing a majority.

There was also a new law to stop people being held on police bail without charge for more than 28 days.

Legislation will be brought forward to ensure that suppliers of so-called “legal highs” could in future face seven years in jail, but users in possession of the drugs will not be prosecuted.

Terrorists, paedophiles and serious criminals will be subject to tougher surveillance under so-called “Snoopers’ Charter”.

Under new counter-extremist plans, schools and nurseries will also be able to check whether an individual is an extremist and bar them from working with children.

There were also measures to reduce the “incentives” for foreign migrants to come to the UK. The government will introduce a new offence of “illegal working” and a “skills levy” on visas for businesses using foreign Labour to fund apprenticeships.

The government will also extend powers to deport foreign criminals before they can appeal to all immigration cases, while tagging foreign offenders “so we know exactly where they are”.

In her address to Parliament, the Queen said: “Mr Government will legislate in the interests of everyone in our country. It will adopt a one nation approach, helping working people get on, supporting aspiration, giving new opportunities to the most disadvantaged and bringing different parts of our country together.”

In his forward to the Queen’s Speech, Mr Cameron said: “We have a golden opportunity to renew the idea that working people are backed in this country; to renew the promise to those least fortunate that they will have the opportunity for a brighter future; and to renew the ties that bind every part of our United Kingdom.”

He added: “It’s challenging but doable; optimistic but realistic. It’s the bold first step of a One Nation Government – a Government for working people.

“And this is the Britain we’re setting out to create; a Britain where you can get a decent job, have a good education, buy a home of your own, have dignity when you retire, and feel safe and secure throughout your life.

“In the last Parliament we laid the foundations for that; in this Parliament we will use them to build something special. We’ve now got the majority we need. With this Queen’s Speech we’re going to get on and do it – for every single person in this great nation.”

Key points:

  1. Enterprise Bill:Cut red tape to help save businesses £10 billion, improve business rates system and create new body to help resolve company-to-company disputes.
  2. Full Employment and Welfare Bill:Benefit cap to be lowered to £23,000 while there will be a “freeze” on most working-age benefits, tax credits and child benefit for two years.
  3. Personal Tax Allowance:Allowance to increase to £12,500. Will continue to rise to ensure minimum wage earners working 30 hours a week will be taken out of income tax.
  4. Tax lock commitment:No income tax, VAT or National Insurance contributions rises before 2020.
  5. Childcare Bill:Double the amount of free childcare to 30 hours for three- and four-year-olds.
  6. Housing Bill:Build more “starter homes” to be sold at a 20 per cent discount for young first-time buyers.
  7. Energy Bill:Create the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) and give local communities will have the “final say” on wind farms.
  8. Immigration Bill:Make ”illegal working” a criminal offence and extend the principle of “deport first, appeal later” to all immigration cases.
  9. Trade Unions Bill:Block strikes unless 40 per cent of all eligible union members vote for industrial action.
  10. Education and Adoption Bill:Create new powers that will allow “coasting” and failing schools to be converted into academies.
  11. EU Referendum Bill: Holding an In/Out vote on Britain’s membership of the European Union by the end of 2017.
  12. Health and Social Care:Increase funding to £8bn extra a year by 2020 and create a seven-day NHS.
  13. Cities and Local Government:Deliver growth deal for Greater Manchester and “Northern Powerhouse” plans.
  14. State Pension: The state pension will be protected by a “triple lock”, rising in line with the highest of growth in earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent.
  15. Scotland Bill:Implement the Smith Commission, which gives the Scottish Parliament controls to set income tax bands and change welfare policy.
  16. The High Speed Rail Bill:Paves the way for the first stage of the railway from London to the West Midlands.
  17. English votes for English laws:Create “fairer procedures” to ensure decisions affecting England can only be taken with consent of most English MPs.
  18. Extremism Bill:Create powers to ban extremist groups, close radical mosques and allow Ofcom to better control extremist broadcasts.
  19. Police and Criminal Justice Bill:Limit initial pre-charge bail to 28 days as normal, with any extensions beyond three months needing judicial approval.
  20. Psychoactive Substances Bill:Dealing legal highs to become a criminal offence with up to seven years in prison.
  21. Proposals for a British Bill of Rights:Proposals for new legislation to replace the Human Rights Act.