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Prorogation: Her Majesty’s Speech

Volume 714: debated on Thursday 12 November 2009

Her Majesty’s most gracious Speech was then delivered to both Houses of Parliament by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, in pursuance of Her Majesty’s Command, as follows.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons, my Government’s overriding priority has been to help families and businesses through difficult global economic times. My Government remains committed to delivering a fair and prosperous economy. The strength of the financial sector is vital to the future vibrancy of the economy. Therefore, legislation has been enacted to ensure fairer and more secure protection for bank depositors and to improve the resilience of the financial sector.

Legislation has been enacted to create saving gateway accounts to encourage people on lower incomes to save more by offering financial incentives. Legislation has been enacted to promote local economic development and to create greater opportunities for the community and individual involvement in local decision-making. An Act has been passed to increase financial support to industry and to widen the support offered to exporters. An Act has been passed to reform the welfare system, to increase the requirement for people to move from benefits towards sustained employment and to provide greater support, choice and control for disabled people.

My Government has remained committed to protecting the public and ensuring the nation’s safety. An Act has been passed to increase the effectiveness and public accountability of policing, reduce crime and disorder and enhance airport security. An Act has been passed to deliver a more effective, transparent and responsive justice system for victims, witnesses and the wider public. The Act will improve the Coroner’s Service and the process of death certification, to provide an increased focus on bereaved families, including the families of servicemen and women. Legislation has been enacted to strengthen border controls by bringing together customs and immigration powers. The Act will also ensure that newcomers to the United Kingdom earn the right to stay.

My Government has remained committed to ensuring that everyone has a fair chance in life. Legislation has been brought forward to promote equality, fight discrimination and introduce transparency in the workplace to help address the difference in pay between men and women. My Government has brought forward legislation to enshrine in law their commitment to eradicate child poverty by 2020.

Because the health of the nation is vital to its success and well-being, an Act has been passed to strengthen the National Health Service. The Act creates a duty to take account of the new National Health Service constitution that sets out the core principles of the service and the rights and responsibilities of patients and staff. The Act also introduces measures to improve the quality of healthcare and public health. An Act has been passed to reform education, training and apprenticeships, to promote excellence in all schools, improve local services for children and parents and provide a right for employees to request time for training.

My Government has continued to take forward proposals on constitutional reform, including strengthening the role of Parliament. Legislation has been enacted to strengthen the regulation and enhance the transparency of party finance and expenditure. An Act has been passed to create an independent authority to regulate and administer the allowances of Members of Parliament.

Legislation has been enacted to manage marine resources and to create a new right of public access to the coastline.

My Government has continued to work closely with the devolved Administrations in the interests of all the people of the United Kingdom. My Government remains committed to the Northern Ireland political process and have brought forward further methods for sustainable, devolved government.

Members of the House of Commons, I thank you for the provision that you have made for the work and dignity of the Crown and for the public service.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons, my Government has worked towards European action on economic stability, on climate change, on energy, enlargement and security.

My Government has worked for a co-ordinated international response to the global downturn, including by hosting the G20 summit on financial markets and the world economy in April. My Government has continued to work as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, including at its 60th anniversary summit.

My Government has continued to press for a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East, continued progress in Iraq and for effective measures to address international concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme. My Government has continued to work with the Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan for security, stability and prosperity. The Duke of Edinburgh and I were pleased to receive President Calderon of the United Mexican States and President Patil of the Republic of India.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons, I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons, by virtue of Her Majesty’s Commission which has been now read we do, in Her Majesty’s name, and in obedience to Her Majesty’s Commands, prorogue this Parliament to the 18th day of November, to be then here holden, and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Wednesday, the 18th day of November.

Parliament was prorogued at 4.53 pm.