Below is the full text of the Queen’s Speech, which lasted less than 7 minutes. The Bills outlined in the Speech include:
Makes it illegal to bribe a foreign official to obtain or retain business.
Child Poverty Bill
Puts into law the government’s commitment to end child poverty by 2020 and make annual reports on progress.
Children, Schools and Families Bill
Offers pupil and parent guarantees for standards of education with schools to be given “report cards”.
Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Bill
Makes it an offence to use, produce, develop, acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer cluster munitions.
Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill
Creates basis in law for Parliament to scrutinise treaties. Ends the by-election of hereditary peers to sit in House of Lords. Provides for disqualification of peers convicted of serious offences or subject to a bankruptcy order. Allows peers to resign peerages. Repeals legislation limiting protests around Parliament.
Crime and Security Bill
Introduces mandatory assessment of parenting needs when 10 to 15-year-olds are considered for an ASBO. Reduces the amount of information police need to record when carrying out stop and search. Gives police the power to bar suspected domestic violence offenders from their homes for a period, even when not charged.
Digital Economy Bill
Gives media regulator Ofcom the duty to assess the UK’s communications infrastructure every two years. Updates regulations to make the digital radio switchover possible by 2015. Makes age ratings compulsory on all video games designed for children aged 12 and above.
Sets rules for energy firms to provide support – such as rebates – for poorer customers, with regulator Ofgem having a duty to “proactively” protect them. Supports the construction of up to four carbon capture and storage schemes to cut pollution.
Gives the whole public sector a duty to “narrow the gap between rich and poor”. Bans age discrimination outside the workplace – such as when buying goods and services like healthcare. Business with more than 250 employees will have to report on gender differences on pay. Strengthens powers of employment tribunals. Public bodies should use £200bn of public procurement deals at their disposal to “drive equality” in private sector firms.
Financial Services Bill
Establishes a Council for Financial Stability, chaired by the chancellor, and comprising Treasury, Bank of England and Financial Services Authority (FSA). Strengthens the FSA to take “action” on pay of those in financial services, following the recent outcry over bonuses. Promises action, in UK and internationally, on bankers’ pay.
Fiscal Responsibility Bill
Provides a “firm and binding statutory basis” for the government’s promise to halve its budget deficit within four years.
Flood and Water Management Bill
Gives local authorities the responsibility to deal with surface water flooding. Sustainable drainage systems will have to be considered for new building developments.
Personal Care at Home Bill
Guarantees free personal care for the 280,000 people with the “highest needs”, such as those with serious dementia or Parkinson’s disease.
House of Lords Reform Bill
Promises that the Lords will be between 80% and 100% elected. States the government should not hold a majority in the second chamber and its members must be independent.
International Development Spending Bill
Requires that 0.7% of gross national income is spent on development from 2013.
“My government’s overriding priority is to ensure sustained growth to deliver a fair and prosperous economy for families and businesses, as the British economy recovers from the global economic downturn. By the active creation of jobs, restructuring the financial sector, strengthening the national infrastructure and providing responsible investment, my government will foster growth and employment.
My government will also strengthen key public services, through ensuring that individual entitlements guarantee good services, and will work to build trust in democratic institutions.
My government will seek effective global and European collaboration through the G20 and the European Union to sustain economic recovery and to combat climate change, including at the Copenhagen summit next month.
The Duke of Edinburgh and I look forward to our visit to Bermuda and our state visit to Trinidad and Tobago and to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in this, the Commonwealth’s 60th anniversary year.
My government will continue to reform regulation of the financial services industry to ensure savers and lenders are fully protected. Legislation will be brought forward to strengthen governance of the financial sector and to control the system of rewards.
As the economic recovery is established, my government will reduce the budget deficit and ensure national debt is at a sustainable level. Legislation will be brought forward to halve the deficit.
My government will introduce a bill to enable the wider provision of free social care to those in highest need.
Legislation will be brought forward to provide guarantees of high educational standards for parents and pupils, raise educational standards.
My government will bring forward legislation to protect communities by ensuring that parents take responsibility for their children’s antisocial behaviour and tackling youth gang crime.
My government will introduce legislation to provide an infrastructure that is fit for the digital age and that will support future economic growth, deliver competitive communications and enhance public service broadcasting.
Legislation will be brought forward to support carbon capture and storage and to help more of the most vulnerable households with their energy bills.
My government will respond to proposals for high-speed rail services between London and Scotland.
Legislation will be introduced to protection communities against flooding and to protect water supplies.
My government is committed to ensuring everyone has a fair chance in life and will continue to take forward a bill to promote equality between rich and poor, tackle discrimination and introduce transparency in the workplace to help address the differences in pay between men and women.
My government will continue to enshrine in law its commitment to abolish child poverty by 2020.
My government will ensure that agency workers have a right to equal treatment with permanent staff on pay, holidays and other basic conditions.
Legislation will continue to be taken forward on constitutional reform. My government will also publish draft legislation on proposals for a reformed second chamber of parliament with a democratic mandate.
A bill will be introduced to strengthen the law against bribery.
My government will continue to work closely with the devolved administrations in the interests of all the people of the United Kingdom. My government is committed to the Northern Ireland political process and will continue to work with Northern Ireland’s leaders to complete the devolution of policing and justice and to ensure its success.
In Scotland, my government will take forward devolution. More power will be devolved to Scotland and Wales.
Estimates for the public services will be laid before you.
My government will work for security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and Pakistan and for peace in the Middle East.
Legislation will be brought forward to ban cluster munitions.
My government will work towards creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, including addressing the challenges from Iran and North Korea.
Draft legislation will be published to make binding my government’s commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on international development by 2013.
Other measures will be laid before you.
I pray that the blessing of almighty God may rest upon your counsels.”