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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
Brown's bills at-a-glance
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has broken with tradition by announcing 23 bills and draft bills to MPs months ahead of the Queen's Speech.

Children in Care Bill

This bill, applying to England and Wales, aims to give children in the care system more stability and improve their performance at school.

Among proposals are ensuring the child gets a say in decisions on their future, putting a designated teacher in schools to help children in care and ensuring they are not moved to different schools in years 10 and 11, when they are preparing for their GCSEs.

Child Maintenance and Other Payments bill

This bill, applying to England, Wales and Scotland, will set up the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission to replace the troubled Child Support Agency. The government says it will have tougher powers to force absent parents to pay for their children.

It will also set up a scheme to pay a lump sum to people suffering from the asbestos-related disease mesothelioma, who are not yet eligible for compensation.

Climate Change

This UK-wide bill creates a legal framework to reduce the UK's carbon dioxide emissions up to 2050 and beyond. It will propose statutory targets to reduce UK carbon dioxide emissions by at least 60% by 2050 and between 26 and 32% by 2020 - as compared with 1990's emissions.

The draft bill published in March also suggested setting up a Committee on Climate Change. Scotland is considering a separate bill with tougher 80% carbon reduction targets.

Constitutional Reform Bill

This includes the proposals already outlined to MPs by Mr Brown on 3 July, including giving MPs the final say on going to war and on international treaties, Commons committees for each English region, moving election day to weekends and a new national security council.

It also will change the powers of the attorney general and will put the civil service on a statutory footing.

Coroners Bill

This aims to improve services for the bereaved, giving people more powers to appeal against coroners' decisions, establish a new Chief Coroner, and also grants "new powers" for coroners to conduct "more effective investigations". It would apply to England and Wales.

Counter Terrorism Bill

This bill would give new powers to allow travel bans on convicted terrorists, allow post-charge questioning for terrorism suspects and opens the possibility of extending the period beyond 28-days that terrorism suspects can be held.

Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill

Proposals include "tough and effective" community sentences for non-serious criminals, while targeting "prison and probation resources" at "repeat, serious and violent offenders". This will include jailing non-dangerous criminals who breach the terms of their release for 28 days only - rather than automatically serving out the rest of their sentence.

It will also introduce Violent Offenders Orders, post-sentence restrictions on violent offenders, and a new immigration status for people convicted of terrorism or serious offences. It largely relates to England and Wales although some provisions will extend to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Crossrail Bill

Gives necessary powers to build Crossrail, a railway stretching east to west across London. Carried over from the previous parliamentary session - having been introduced in February 2005.

Education and Skills Bill

This bill will raise the minimum school leaving age to 18 and to bring into force the key findings of the Leitch Review, which recommended that training or education should be compulsory for all under-18s, and that 95% of adults should have basic numeracy and literacy skills.

It will include a new legal right for adults to get free training in basic literacy and numeracy and duties on employers to release young people for education or training.

Employment Simplification Bill

Mr Brown has said this bill, for Great Britain, will deliver simpler and fairer enforcement of the national minimum wage. Its aim is to "simplify, clarify and build a stronger enforcement regime for key aspects of employment law."

Energy Bill

This Bill aims to provide greater incentives for renewable energy generation, but will also make it easier for private firms to invest in offshore gas supply infrastructure and in "carbon capture" research and provisions on nuclear waste and decommissioning financing.

European Communities (Finance) Bill

This bill will amend the European Communities Act 1972 - to change the way the UK finances the annual EC budget allowing the UK to make payments direct from the government's own bank account - the Consolidated Fund.

Health and Social Care Bill

This bill creates Ofcare to regulate adult social care and reform professional regulation. In part it puts into effect the recommendations of the Shipman inquiry. It also implements a one-off payment to pregnant women announced in the budget.

Housing and Regeneration Bill

This merges the Housing Corporation, which distributes funds to housing associations to build new social housing, and English Partnerships, which plans housing projects in new growth areas.

It will also implement the recommendations of the Cave Review of Social Housing Regulation, policies responding to John Hills' assessment of social housing and respond to the implications of the recent ECHR ruling on gypsies and travellers.

Human Tissues and Embryos Bill

The UK-wide draft bill was published on 17 May for pre-legislative scrutiny by a joint committee, which is expected to conclude its work by 25 July 2007, resulting in a report and recommendations.

The government will consider the report and make a formal response. Areas of interest are likely to include removal of the "need for a father" - allowing single women and lesbians the right to access fertility treatment; new legislation surrounding the creation of hybrid embryos in stem cell research; and the regulation of internet sperm websites. There has been speculation that the bill will be used by pro or anti-abortion groups to try to alter limits on abortions.

Local Transport Bill

Mostly applying to England and Wales, the most controversial part of the bill involves measures to set up pilots for road pricing schemes.

Separate legislation would be required if, in the future, a decision was made to introduce a national scheme. Ten areas have indicated that they are interested in piloting the technology required, but 1.8m people signed an e-petition on the Downing St Website against the idea. The bill also gives local authorities greater powers to plan local bus services.

National Insurance Contributions Bill

In the 2007 Budget, Gordon Brown introduced a series of measures to simplify the tax system. One of these was to harmonise the upper earnings limit (UEL) for national insurance contributions with the higher rate income tax threshold.

The UEL will rise in phases, to match the higher rate income tax threshold by April 2009. The bill will bring the measure into effect.

Pensions Bill

A new Pensions Bill introducing Personal Accounts - a system of "workplace" saving - has been long expected. The Pensions Bill currently in Parliament, introduces a "delivery authority" to act in an advisory capacity. The second Pensions Bill will introduce the main measures needed to establish the system. It covers the whole of Great Britain.

Planning Reform Bill

This bill will implement the main proposals from the planning White Paper, in particular, establishing a new separate planning system for major infrastructure projects and simplifying the planning system for minor home improvements. In many cases formal planning permission will no longer be required.

Planning Gain Supplement Bill

This bill would create a new tax (the Planning Gain Supplement) on the increased value created when land is granted planning permission, to be spent on local infrastructure.

Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill

This bill will establish the Local Better Regulation Office as a statutory corporation.

Its aim is to secure more effective and less burdensome approaches to the way in which regulations are enforced by local authorities - including trading standards and environmental health services. It will also have new duties to issue guidance to councils, advise ministers and promote consistent regulatory enforcement.

Sale of Student Loans Bill

This bill, applying to England, covers the proposal to sell the student loan book, announced by Gordon Brown in the 2007 Budget, which is expected to raise 6bn over three years.

Unclaimed Assets Bill

This bill seeks to use unclaimed assets in the banking system (such as bank accounts dormant for 15 years) to fund "worthy schemes" but would not be compulsory for banks. Mr Brown has said the intention is "to improve our country's youth and community facilities".






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