(LONDON) Parliament Queens Speech 2021 Report: The Queen has outlined the government’s priorities for the year ahead, as she officially reopened Parliament #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.12: My lords and members of the House of Commons: My Government’s priority is to deliver a national recovery from the pandemic that makes the United Kingdom stronger, healthier and more prosperous than before.

Queen’s Speech 2021: Her Majesty’s most gracious speech to both Houses of Parliament: ‘In a ten-minute speech in the House of Lords, she highlighted 30 laws that ministers intend to pass in the coming year’

Queen in car
EPAA pared-back ceremony due to Covid saw the Queen travel to Parliament by car instead of horse-drawn carriage

To achieve this, my Government will level up opportunities across all parts of the United Kingdom, supporting jobs, businesses and economic growth and addressing the impact of the pandemic on public services.

My Government will protect the health of the nation, continuing the vaccination programme and providing additional funding to support the NHS. My Ministers will bring forward legislation to empower the NHS to innovate and embrace technology. Patients will receive more tailored and preventative care, closer to home [Health and Care Bill]. Measures will be brought forward to support the health and wellbeing of the nation, including to tackle obesity and improve mental health. Proposals on social care reform will be brought forward.

My Government will build on the success of the vaccination programme to lead the world in life sciences, pioneering new treatments against diseases like cancer and securing jobs and investment across the country.

My Ministers will oversee the fastest ever increase in public funding for research and development and pass legislation to establish an advanced research agency [Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill].

Following the unprecedented support provided to businesses during the pandemic, proposals will be brought forward to create and support jobs and improve regulation.

My Government will strengthen the economic ties across the union, investing in and improving national infrastructure. Proposals will be taken forward to transform connectivity by rail and bus [High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill] and to extend 5G mobile coverage and gigabit capable broadband [Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill].

Legislation will support a lifetime skills guarantee to enable flexible access to high quality education and training throughout people’s lives [Skills and Post-16 Education Bill].

Measures will be introduced to ensure that support for businesses reflects the United Kingdom’s strategic interests and drives economic growth [Subsidy Control Bill]. Laws will simplify procurement in the public sector [Procurement Bill]. Eight new Freeports will create hubs for trade and help regenerate communities [National Insurance Contributions Bill].

My Government will ensure that the public finances are returned to a sustainable path once the economic recovery is secure.

Measures will be brought forward to ensure that children have the best start in life, prioritising their early years. My Ministers will address lost learning during the pandemic and ensure every child has a high quality education and is able to fulfil their potential.

My Government will help more people to own their own home whilst enhancing the rights of those who rent. Laws to modernise the planning system, so that more homes can be built, will be brought forward, along with measures to end the practice of ground rents for new leasehold properties [Planning Bill, Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill]. My Ministers will establish in law a new Building Safety Regulator to ensure that the tragedies of the past are never repeated [Building Safety Bill].

Measures will be brought forward to address racial and ethnic disparities and ban conversion therapy.

Legislation will support the voluntary sector by reducing unnecessary bureaucracy and releasing additional funds for good causes [Dormant Assets Bill, Charities Bill].

My Government will invest in new green industries to create jobs, while protecting the environment. The United Kingdom is committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and will continue to lead the way internationally by hosting the COP26 Summit in Glasgow. Legislation will set binding environmental targets [Environment Bill]. Legislation will also be brought forward to ensure the United Kingdom has, and promotes, the highest standards of animal welfare [Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, Kept Animals Bill, Animals Abroad Bill].

My Government will strengthen and renew democracy and the constitution. Legislation will be introduced to ensure the integrity of elections, protect freedom of speech and restore the balance of power between the executive, legislature and the courts [Electoral Integrity Bill, Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, Judicial Review Bill, Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill]. My Ministers will promote the strength and integrity of the union. Measures will be brought forward to strengthen devolved Government in Northern Ireland and address the legacy of the past [Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concerns) Bill, Legacy Legislation].

My Government will introduce measures to increase the safety and security of its citizens.

Legislation will increase sentences for the most serious and violent offenders and ensure the timely administration of justice [Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill]. Proposals will be brought forward to address violence, including against women and girls, and to support victims [Draft Victims Bill]. Measures will be brought forward to establish a fairer immigration system that strengthens the United Kingdom’s borders and deters criminals who facilitate dangerous and illegal journeys [New Plan for Immigration Legislation].

My Government will lead the way in ensuring internet safety for all, especially for children [Draft Online Safety Bill] whilst harnessing the benefits of a free, open and secure internet.

My Ministers will provide our gallant Armed Services with the biggest spending increase in thirty years, taking forward their programme of modernisation and reinforcing the United Kingdom’s commitment to NATO. My Ministers will honour and strengthen the Armed Forces Covenant, placing it in law [Armed Forces Bill]. Measures will be introduced to provide National Insurance contribution relief for employers of veterans [National Insurance Contributions Bill].

Legislation will be introduced to counter hostile activity by foreign states [Counter-State Threats Bill, Telecommunications (Security) Bill]. My Ministers will implement the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

The United Kingdom will host the G7 Summit and lead the global effort to secure a robust economic recovery from the pandemic. My Ministers will deepen trade ties in the Gulf, Africa and the Indo-Pacific.

My Government will continue to provide aid where it has the greatest impact on reducing poverty and alleviating human suffering. My Government will uphold human rights and democracy across the world. It will take forward a global effort to get 40 million girls across the world into school.

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.

Other measures will be laid before you.

I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: May.12: 2021:

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#downing-street, #london, #mps, #queen, #speech

` Britain Orders Investigation into `Muslim Brotherhood ‘ over Concerns that the Group is Planning Radical Activities ‘

#AceWorldNews – BRITAIN – April 01 – Britain has ordered an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood over concerns that the group is planning radical activities in Britain, British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Downing Street office revealed Tuesday.

The review is being led by Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Jenkins, according to Agence France-Presse.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister has commissioned an internal government review into the philosophy and activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and the government’s policy towards the organization.”

The announcement confirmed a report in the Times newspaper that said he had asked intelligence agencies to gather information on the “philosophy and activities” of the Brotherhood and its potential threat to the UK.

According to the newspaper, Brotherhood leaders had met in London last year to decide their response to the Egypt crisis, triggered when one of its leading members, Mohammad Morsi, was unseated as president

The group has since been blamed by Cairo for orchestrating a campaign of violence.

#ANS2014

#britain, #british-prime-minister-david-cameron, #cairo, #downing-street, #egypt, #london, #mohammed-morsi, #muslim-brotherhood, #uk

#Austerity for Everyone Unless Your Are A Minister of Parliament #Rich/Poor

English: MPS Logo

English: MPS Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceNewsServices says plans to award MPs an 11% pay rise have been criticised across Westminster, with one minister describing them as “utterly incomprehensible”. 

BBC NEWS: 

Parliamentary watchdog Ipsa is set to recommend a rise of £7,600 to £74,000, to come in after the 2015 election.

Ipsa does not need to get the agreement of Parliament to bring in the changes.

But Treasury minister Danny Alexander urged it to reconsider, saying it would be “wholly inappropriate” at a time of curbs on pay in the public sector.

The rise – to come into effect in May 2015 – comes as part of a package of changes to MPs’ salary and benefits which would see some allowances scrapped.

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MPs currently earn a basic salary of £66,396 but the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is expected to say on Thursday that their pay has fallen behind in recent years and a substantial “one-off” rise is justified.

The BBC’s political correspondent Gary O’Donoghue said Ipsa would conduct a statutory review of pay at the start of the next Parliament, at which point the rise could theoretically be reversed, but this remains unlikely.

‘Preposterous’

All three party leaders disagreed with the move when it was first proposed earlier this year but the watchdog is expected to say it will press ahead with the rise – expected to cost the public purse £4.6m.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

What I’m concerned about is to ensure that the pay is sufficient to attract people from modest backgrounds ”

Jack StrawLabour MP

English: East entrance of HM Treasury Français...

English: East entrance of HM Treasury Français : Entrée Est de HM Treasury (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mr Alexander, Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, urged the watchdog to reconsider, saying it must take into account public opinion as well as “the wider economic climate and the climate of people’s living standards”.

It would be “wholly inappropriate for MPs to get such a large pay rise when every other public sector worker sees their pay rises capped at 1%,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

Conservative defence secretary Philip Hammond said he would not personally be accepting the pay increase, saying it was the “not the moment” to do so.

“Whatever the rights and wrongs of whether MPs’ pay is too high, too low, comparable to other people, at a time when we are asking people across the public sector – nurses, doctors, teachers – to accept pay restraint, members of Parliament have to be seen to be leading the way,” he told BBC Five Live’s Pienaar’s Politics.

He suggested the Cabinet would take a “collective line” on the issue of whether to accept the rise or not.

Continue reading the main story

Analysis

image of Alan SoadyAlan SoadyPolitical reporter, BBC News

It is regarded as a no-brainer by MPs that many voters loathe the idea of politicians being paid more, especially at a time of austerity.

The main party leaders conclude that it’s too politically toxic.

But privately a lot of MPs believe a pay rise, however unpalatable to taxpayers, is justified.

Like so many workers, they have seen real-terms pay cuts in recent years (albeit on salaries at least three times the average).

Other perks have also been trimmed since the expenses scandal.

Few are keen to put their head above the parapet, but those who have argue that MPs’ pay has fallen behind that of head teachers, doctors or local council leaders.

The argument goes that people from those middle class professions could be deterred from running for Parliament.

“We could end up with a Commons full of toffs and nerds,” a former MP once said to me, adding that this would not be an unedifying combination.

But no matter how many arguments are put forward in favour of a hefty pay rise for MPs, it’s not going to be an easy one to sell to the public.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls told the Dermot Murnaghan show on Sky News that the proposed increase was “preposterous” and he could not defend it at a time when people were facing a “cost of living” crisis.

But former Labour foreign secretary Jack Straw, who is retiring as an MP in 2015, said the party leaders could not complain about the decision after handing responsibility over to an outside body.

“What I’m concerned about is to ensure that the pay is sufficient to attract people from modest backgrounds who have not inherited a house, who don’t have family or personal income, but who are going to make a career out of politics,” he said.

And Conservative backbencher Sir Peter Bottomley said it was sensible for MPs’ pay to be set by an outside body at the start of each Parliament, with a regard to how to attract MPs from all walks of life.

“The only way MPs could overturn this is to defy their leaders and pass a law saying Ipsa is abolished or it will be ignored,” he said. “That’s impractical given the public interest in setting up Ipsa first.”

Tea and biscuits

A Downing Street spokeswoman said MPs’ pay was “a matter for Ipsa” but ministers believed the “cost of politics should be going down, not up”.

Ipsa previously said it had looked at increasing the current salary of £66,396 to anywhere between £73,365 and £83,430, but opted for a lower figure “in recognition of the current difficult economic circumstances”.

After 2015, it proposes that MPs’ wages would increase annually in line with average UK earnings.

At the same time as recommending a pay rise, the watchdog is also expected to announce a squeeze on pensions and the resettlement grants that MPs are given when they leave Parliament.

The amount that MPs have to contribute to their pensions is set to increase while MPs’ final salary scheme is expected to be downgraded to a career average in line with the rest of the public sector.

Other changes would also see a £15 dinner allowance and claims for tea and biscuits scrapped. And it would mean taxpayer-funded taxis were only permitted after 23:00.

There would also be a crackdown on claims made for running second homes, with costs such as TV licences and contents insurance no longer being met.

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#austerity, #richpoor, #bbc, #danny-alexander, #downing-street, #independent-parliamentary-standards-authority, #ipsa, #labour, #member-of-parliament, #peter-bottomley