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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
In full: Brown statement on plans
Here is the full text of Gordon Brown's statement to MPs about his legislative plans for the next session of Parliament:

For over one and a half centuries the annual Gracious address has been drafted inside Government and agreed by the Cabinet far from the public arena.

But I believe it is now right in the interests of good and open government and public debate that each year the Prime Minister make a summer statement to this House so that initial thinking, previously private, can now be the subject of widespread and informed public consultation.

And today in advance of final decisions the Leader of the House is publishing details of our initial list of proposed legislative measures - inviting debate on them in both Houses this month and making provision for region-by-region deliberation and responses.

Mr Speaker, to respond to the rising aspirations of the British people we must deliver new and better opportunities - in education, employment, the provision of housing and health - ensure that in a fast changing world there is opportunity and security not just for some but for all.

A new educational opportunity bill will mean that for the first time not just some but all young people will stay in education or training until 18. The new Pensions Bill will ensure that for the first time not just some but all working people have the right to a workplace pension with a duty on every employer to contribute towards it.

And Mr Speaker, putting affordable housing within the reach not just of the few but the many is vital both to meeting individual aspirations and a better future for our country, so for housing and planning in the 2007-08 session there are three proposed bills.

Let me tell the House the scale of the new opportunities for home buying and to rent that we are proposing.

In two eras of the last century - the interwar years and the 1950s onwards - Britain made new housebuilding a national priority. Now through this decade and right up to 2020 I want us - in environmentally friendly ways using principally brownfield land and building eco towns and villages - to meet housing need by building over a quarter of a million more homes than previously planned, a total by 2020 of 3 million new homes for families across the country.

So for England we will raise the annual housebuilding target for 2016 from 200,000 to 240,000 new homes a year.

We propose a new Housing Bill which will support and encourage initiatives on the ground by local authorities and other authorities and to do this will bring together English Partnerships with the Housing Corporation to create a new homes agency charged with bringing surplus public land into housing use to deliver more social and affordable housing and support regeneration.

This will include new partnerships with local authorities, health authorities and the private and voluntary sectors to build more housing made affordable by shared equity schemes and more social housing responsive to individual needs.

The Planning Bill will implement the Eddington and Barker reports to speed up the development of the major infrastructure projects that Britain needs to facilitate economic and housing growth, and to speed up planning generally.

The Planning Gain Supplement Bill - to ensure the public receive benefit from planning gain - is provisional because if prior to the Pre-Budget Report a better way is identified of ensuring local communities receive significantly more of the benefit planning gain to invest in necessary infrastructure including transport - and it is demonstrated that these are a better alternative - the Government will be prepared to defer next session's legislation.

To move housing supply forward, English Partnerships is negotiating a new deal with the Ministry of Defence to acquire at least six major redundant sites to build over 7000 new homes.

Similar discussions are being undertaken with the Department for Transport, the Highways Agency and the British Railways Board Residuary Body. And the Department for Health is undertaking an urgent review of surplus land owned by NHS organisations and trusts to explore opportunities for its transfer and development to provide additional homes.

So I can announce that in total over 550 sites owned by central government are now being examined for housing development with the potential for up to 100,000 new homes.

In addition we estimate another 60,000 homes can be built on brownfield land currently owned by local authorities.

The Minister for Housing will publish further details next week in a green paper. The Chancellor is also announcing today that he will consult on creating a new regime for 'covered bonds' which will help mortgage lenders finance more affordable 20 to 25 year fixed-rate mortgages - and he will report by the Budget on how to overcome other barriers preventing lenders from offering people long-term mortgages, including the case for changes to instruments used by the Debt Management Office.

And because at the same time as building more affordable homes we must also reduce their environmental impact, we will consult with local councils on using the New Towns Act to enable 'eco towns' - with zero or low carbon housing - to be built more quickly.

And I can assure the House that we will continue to protect robustly the land designated as green belt. Alongside this, measures in the Climate Change Bill - published in draft on 13 March - will make Britain the first country in the world to introduce a legal framework for reducing carbon emissions by setting targets for carbon emission reductions for each five year period to 2050.

The Energy Bill will provide greater incentives for renewable energy generation. And the Local Transport Bill will support the Government's strategy to tackle congestion and improve public transport.

Mr Speaker, I turn now to some of the other proposed bills in our programme. Mr Speaker, as we approach the 60th anniversary of the NHS we need to do more to put power in the hands of patients and staff - and ensure that every patient gets the best possible treatment.

So alongside the NHS review announced last week, the Health and Social Care Bill will create a stronger health and social care regulator, with a clear remit to ensure improved access, clean and safe services and high quality care.

The Children in Care Bill will do more to protect vulnerable children, and the Child Maintenance Bill will do more to prevent children from falling into poverty when parents split up.

Behind the Unclaimed Assets Bill is our determination that money in dormant bank accounts will be used to improve our country's youth and community facilities. The Human Tissues and Embryos Bill has already been published in draft.

To support British business as they strive to succeed in the new globalised world - and to break down the barriers holding enterprise back - the Enforcement and Sanctions Bill will keep the burden of regulation on compliant businesses to a minimum, whilst effectively targeting and penalising those who deliberately disregard the law.

And the Employment Simplification Bill will deliver simpler and fairer enforcement of the national minimum wage.

Protecting the security and safety of the British people is paramount for any government. We stand ready to introduce new measures into the Criminal Justice Bill - to be carried over into the next session - including as a result of the review of policing by Sir Ronnie Flanagan which reports later this year.

Because we are committed to building a broad consensus on the right balance between protecting our national security and safeguarding civil liberties, the Home Secretary plans to consult - and we are seeking an all party consensus on: new measures to ensure more successful prosecutions against terrorist suspects; increased penalties for terrorists charged with other criminal offences; the period of pre-charge detention where, for terrorism alone, exceptional circumstances make it necessary - while ensuring rigorous judicial oversight and Parliamentary accountability.

And as the House knows we will review the use of intercept material in prosecutions.

The full and final programme will be set out in the Queen's speech in November and many of the proposals I set out to the House last week will be taken forward in a Constitutional Reform Bill. Mr Speaker, just as with the challenge of securing justice and security for all, the challenge for this Government - and the foundation of our legislative programme - is to: support all parents with children not just some; invest in the educational chances of all children not just some; offer more people the chance to get on the housing ladder; help more people into work; give all patients the best healthcare; and, in this way, respond to the rising aspirations of the British people by ensuring that the opportunities which are today only available to some are available to all.

I commend this statement to the House.



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