I have to acquaint the House that this House has this day attended Her Majesty in the House of Peers, and that Her Majesty was pleased to make a Most Gracious Speech from the Throne to both Houses of Parliament, of which I have, for greater accuracy, obtained a copy.
I shall direct that the terms of the Gracious Speech be printed in the Votes and Proceedings. Copies are available in the Vote Office.
The Gracious Speech was as follows:
My Government’s legislative programme will focus on economic growth, justice and constitutional reform.
My Ministers’ first priority will be to reduce the deficit and restore economic stability.
Legislation will be introduced to reduce burdens on business by repealing unnecessary legislation and to limit state inspection of businesses.
My Government will introduce legislation to reform competition law to promote enterprise and fair markets.
My Government will introduce legislation to establish a Green Investment Bank.
Measures will be brought forward to further strengthen regulation of the financial services sector and implement the recommendations of the Independent Commission on Banking.
My Government will introduce legislation to establish an independent adjudicator to ensure supermarkets deal fairly and lawfully with suppliers.
A Bill will be introduced to reduce burdens on charities, enabling them to claim additional payments on small donations.
My Government will propose reform of the electricity market to deliver secure, clean and affordable electricity and ensure prices are fair.
A draft Bill will be published to reform the water industry in England and Wales.
My Government will bring forward measures to modernise the pension system and reform the state pension, creating a fair, simple and sustainable foundation for private saving.
Legislation will be introduced to reform public service pensions in line with the recommendations of the independent commission on public service pensions.
A draft Bill will be published setting out measures to close the Audit Commission and establish new arrangements for the audit of local public bodies.
My Government will strive to improve the lives of children and families.
My Government will propose measures to improve provision for disabled children and children with special educational needs. New arrangements will be proposed to support children involved in family law cases, reform court processes for children in care and strengthen the role of the Children's Commissioner.
Measures will be proposed to make parental leave more flexible so both parents may share parenting responsibilities and balance work and family commitments.
A draft Bill will be published to modernise adult care and support in England.
My Government will continue to work with the fifteen other Commonwealth Realms to take forward reform of the rules governing succession to the Crown.
Legislation will be brought forward which will introduce individual registration of electors and improve the administration of elections.
A Bill will be brought forward to reform the composition of the House of Lords.
My Government will continue to work constructively and cooperatively with the devolved institutions.
Members of the House of Commons
Estimates for the public services will be laid before you.
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons
My Government is committed to reducing and preventing crime. A Bill will be introduced to establish the National Crime Agency to tackle the most serious and organised crime and strengthen border security. The courts and tribunals service will be reformed to increase efficiency, transparency and judicial diversity.
Legislation will be introduced to protect freedom of speech and reform the law of defamation.
My Government will introduce legislation to strengthen oversight of the security and intelligence agencies. This will also allow courts, through the limited use of closed proceedings, to hear a greater range of evidence in national security cases.
My Government intends to bring forward measures to maintain the ability of the law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access vital communications data under strict safeguards to protect the public, subject to scrutiny of draft clauses.
My Government will seek the approval of Parliament relating to the agreed financial stability mechanism within the euro area.
My Government will seek the approval of Parliament on the anticipated accession of Croatia to the European Union.
My Government will work to support a secure and stable Afghanistan, to reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation, including in Iran, and to bring greater stability to the Horn of Africa.
In the Middle East and North Africa, my Government will support the extension of political and economic freedom in countries in transition.
My Government has set out firm plans to spend nought point seven per cent of gross national income as official development assistance from 2013. This will be the first time the United Kingdom has met this agreed international commitment.
My Government will build strategic partnerships with the emerging powers.
The United Kingdom will assume the Presidency of the G8 in 2013: my Government will use this opportunity to promote international security and prosperity.
In the year of the Diamond Jubilee, Prince Philip and I will continue to take part in celebrations across the United Kingdom. The Prince of Wales and other members of my family are travelling widely to take part in festivities throughout the Commonwealth. Prince Philip and I look forward to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games and to welcoming visitors from around the world to London and venues throughout the country.
Other measures will be laid before you.
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons
I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.