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Government's Draft Legislative Programme (2009-10)

Volume 495: debated on Monday 29 June 2009

I am pleased to announce that the Government are today publishing their Draft Legislative Programme 2009-10, as a part of the Government’s proposals for “Building Britain’s Future”.

This is the third year that the Government have published their legislative programme in draft for consultation in advance of the Queen’s Speech. This year it is being published as part of the Government’s broader plan for “Building Britain’s Future”. This provides an opportunity for both the public and Parliament to see how the Draft Legislative Programme forms part of the action the Government are taking to build a more prosperous, stronger and fairer country.

The aim of publishing the Draft Legislative Programme is to be transparent about what the Government are planning to achieve through legislation. This provides an opportunity to look across the programme as a whole and take a view as to whether the balance of priorities is right, whether there are important areas that have been missed out or areas of the programme that should be given lower priority. This, in turn, enables views to be fed into the development of the programme before the final programme is announced in the Queen’s Speech towards the end of the year.

As a draft programme, the Government expect it to develop and change over the course of the year, as a result both of consultation and as new issues arise. For example, on 10 June the Prime Minister announced the start of public engagement on further democratic reform, some parts of which could require primary legislation—this exercise will be running in parallel with consultation on the Draft Legislative Programme.

The Government are currently proposing to introduce 11 Bills in key areas in the next session of Parliament (two of which, the Equality and Child Poverty Bills, have recently been introduced but will be largely considered in the next session and one, the Constitutional Renewal Bill, is intended for introduction before the end of this session). The Government have also recently introduced the Parliamentary Standards Bill, intended for Royal Assent before the summer recess, to create an Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to revise, monitor and administer the system of MPs’ allowances; to set and enforce the rules relating to the registration of MPs’ financial interests; to create new criminal offences for MPs of making false or misleading claims for allowances, failing to register a financial interest and engaging in paid advocacy and to provide for the code of conduct for Members to be placed on a statutory footing.

These Bills are:

Constitutional Renewal Bill

Bribery Bill

Financial Services And Business Bill

Digital Economy Bill

Energy Bill

Flood and Water Management Bill

Improving Schools and Safeguarding Children Bill

Equality Bill

Policing, Crime and Private Security Bill

Child Poverty Bill

Cluster Munitions Prohibition Bill

The Government have already made significant reforms to the House of Lords and will bring forward further reform through the Constitutional Renewal Bill. To complete this final phase of reform, the Government will then set out proposals and publish a draft Bill for a smaller and democratically constituted second chamber.

The Government are keen to receive the public’s views on the Draft Legislative Programme, in particular whether people think the Draft Legislative Programme reflects the right priorities for the United Kingdom and, if not, what other issues do you think the Government should be addressing?

Further information about the programme and how people can comment is available on the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons website (www.commonsleader.gov.uk). The consultation will close on 21 September 2009.