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Prorogation: Her Majesty’s Speech

Volume 718: debated on Thursday 8 April 2010

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 restore growth to deliver a fair and prosperous economy for families and businesses, as the British economy recovers from the global economic downturn. Through employment and training programmes, restructuring the financial sector, strengthening the national infrastructure and providing responsible investment, my Government has taken action to support growth and employment.

My Government has also strengthened key public services, ensuring that, increasingly, individual entitlements guarantee good services, and has worked to build trust in democratic institutions.

My Government has sought effective global and European collaboration, including through the European Union, to combat climate change, including at the Copenhagen summit in December last year, and to sustain economic recovery through the G20.

The Duke of Edinburgh and I were pleased to visit Bermuda, and Trinidad and Tobago for our State Visit and to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the Commonwealth's 60th anniversary year. We were glad to welcome the President of South Africa on his successful visit to this country earlier this year.

The Duke of Edinburgh and I were saddened to learn of the devastation brought on Haiti and Chile by recent earthquakes and hope that relief and reconstruction efforts, which my Government and the British people have supported, can build on the spirit and resilience displayed by their people.

My Government has continued to reform and strengthen regulation of the financial services industry to ensure a stable financial sector that supports the wider economy, with greater protection for savers and taxpayers.

As the economic recovery is established, my Government has taken steps to reduce the budget deficit and ensure that national debt is on a sustainable path. Legislation has been enacted to halve the deficit.

An Act has been passed to enable the wider provision of free personal care to those with the highest needs.

An Act has been passed to protect communities by ensuring that parents take responsibility for their children's antisocial behaviour and by tackling youth gang crime.

An Act has been passed to ensure the communications infrastructure is fit for the digital age, supports future economic growth, delivers competitive communications and enhances public service broadcasting.

Legislation has been enacted to support carbon capture and storage and to help more of the most vulnerable households with their energy bills.

My Government has set out proposals for high-speed rail services between London and Scotland.

Legislation has been enacted to protect communities from flooding and to improve the management of water supplies.

My Government has remained committed to ensuring everyone has a fair chance in life and an Act has been passed to promote equality, narrow the gap between rich and poor and tackle discrimination. The Act also introduces transparency in the workplace to help address the differences in pay between men and women.

An Act has been passed to enshrine in law the commitment by my Government to abolish child poverty by 2020.

Legislation has been enacted to provide agency workers with the right to be treated equally with permanent staff on pay, holidays and other basic conditions after twelve weeks on an assignment.

Legislation has been enacted to take forward constitutional reform.

An Act has been passed to strengthen the law against bribery.

My Government has continued to work closely with the devolved Administrations in the interests of all the people of the United Kingdom. My Government has remained committed to the Northern Ireland political process and has continued to work with Northern Ireland’s leaders to ensure the continued stability of the devolved institutions and to complete the process of devolution by transferring policing and justice functions in April this year.

In Scotland, my Government set out plans to further strengthen devolution in its response to the Final Report of the Commission on Scottish Devolution. My Government has continued to devolve more powers to Wales and has remained committed to a referendum on further devolution.

Members of the House of Commons, I thank you for the provision 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 for security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and Pakistan and for peace in the Middle East.

Legislation has been enacted to ban cluster munitions.

My Government has continued to work towards creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, including addressing the challenges from Iran and North Korea.

Draft legislation has been published to make binding my Government's commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on international development from 2013.

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 20th day of April, to be then here holden, and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Tuesday, the 20th day of April.

Parliament was prorogued at 5.41 pm.