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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 November, 2004, 17:54 GMT
Queen's Speech at-a-glance
A total of 37 bills are in the 2004 Queen's Speech - ensuring a packed legislative schedule in the run-up to the general election predicted for next year:

Animal Welfare Bill

A bill aimed at pulling together existing legislation on animal welfare in England and Wales.

Charities Bill

An attempt by the government to boost the voluntary sector by overhauling charity laws "so that a vibrant, diverse and independent charitable sector can continue to flourish with public confidence".

Child Benefit Bill

A measure to extend child benefit to families with sons and daughters aged 16 to 19 who are still in training or further education.

Child Contact and Inter-country Adoption (Draft)

Will give the courts flexible powers to enable contact arrangements and ensure agreements are enforced.

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill

This will give local councils more powers to tackle fly-tipping, abandoned cars, noise nuisance and light pollution, with measures such as spot fines.

Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Bill

This will integrate the Inland Revenue and Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.

Commons Bill (Draft)

This will provide new protection for land identified as part of the "rural cultural identity of England and Wales".

Company Law Bill (Draft)

Ministers want to make it easier to set up and run a company as part of its drive towards a more flexible and competitive economy.

Constitutional Reform Bill

This will pave the way for the creation of a Supreme Court.

Consumer Credit Bill

Consumer credit laws are to be updated in an attempt to give people greater protection from unfair lending practices.

Corporate Manslaughter Bill (Draft)

A bill holding bosses to account when people are killed in disasters.

Counter Terrorism Bill (Draft)

Some of Home Secretary David Blunkett's most controversial proposals on security in the wake of the terrorist attacks on 11 September are not included but the speech says: "My government recognises that we live in a time of global uncertainty with an increased threat from international terrorism and organised crime."

Criminal Defence Service Bill

This aims to make "the best use of legal aid resources" in order to provide value for money for the taxpayer and is intended to ensure people who can afford their legal defence pay for it.

Crossrail Bill

This will pave the way for building the Crossrail link across London.

Disability Discrimination Bill

The government wants to reform the rights of disabled people.

Drugs Bill

Plans to allow police to drug test people arrested for minor crimes. Addicts could also be forced into treatment and council tenants whose homes are used by drug addicts evicted.

Education Bill

A bill giving schools greater freedom, and also promising shorter Ofsted inspections - but also shorter warning of inspections.

Equality Bill

This will aim to extend protection against discrimination to religious faith and will also will establish a new Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

European Union Bill

Laws setting out the rules for a vote on the draft new EU constitution - which could take place in spring 2006.

Gambling Bill

Not mentioned as it has already been in the Commons but is still to be carried over from the last Parliamentary session.

Identity Cards Bill

Moves towards the introduction of ID cards by 2008 are outlined.

Inquiries Bill

Provides a modern framework of statutory inquiries into "matters of public concern".

International Organisations Bill

Aimed at enabling the UK to fulfil outstanding international commitments to confer legal capacity, privileges and immunities on a number of international organisations and bodies.

Judicial Pensions Bill

This will maintain the current value of judges' pensions within their overall remuneration package.

Management of Offenders and Sentencing Bill

This aims to reduce re-offending and would introduce the National Offender Management Service.

Mental Capacity Bill

There is also a bill, which carries over from the last session, which aims to provide a statutory framework for dealing with the financial, health and welfare decisions of those people who might lack capacity through mental illness or disability.

Mental Health Bill (Draft)

This is billed as the biggest reform of mental health legislation since the 1950s.

Modernising Rural Delivery Bill (Draft)

This is aimed at creating a new integrated agency bringing together the responsibilities of English Nature, parts of the Countryside Agency and most of the Rural Development Service.

National Lottery Bill

Aims to streamline the process for applying to get lottery cash by establishing a Big Lottery fund and give the public more say in lottery distribution decisions.

Public Service Ombudsman (Wales) Bill

This would create a new office of Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

Railways Bill

Legislation which the government says will "streamline the organisation of national rail system to improve performance".

Road Safety Bill

A new law would give drivers caught using mobile phones three penalty points on their licence, with a fine doubled to 60.

School Transport Bill

Carried over from the last session this would allow local authorities to provide innovative and safe school transport

Serious and Organised Crime Bill

A bill to create the new Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) - Britain's version of the FBI.

Transport (Wales) Bill

Gives the Welsh Assembly new powers over transport issues.

Youth Justice Bill (Draft)

A new bill dealing with the sentencing of young criminals

The Queen's Speech 2004






Pomp and pageantry


Watch the speech
MPs debate the speech


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