Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Queen's Speech: Bill-by-bill

Here is an at-a-glance list of the bills outlined in the 2009 Queen's Speech programme:

Bribery Bill

Makes it illegal to bribe a foreign official to obtain or retain business. Makes it an offence if businesses fail to prevent a bribe being paid by their employees or by other firms on their behalf. Extends to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Child Poverty Bill

Puts into law the government's commitment to end child poverty by 2020. Ensures the government must make annual reports to Parliament on the success of its strategies to end child poverty. Duty on all local authorities to deal with the problem. Whole bill applies to England. Some parts also apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Children, Schools and Families Bill

Offers pupil and parent guarantees for standards of education. Schools to be given "report cards". Promises "greater flexibility" for primary schools to set their own curriculums. Also ensures that all young people receive at least one year of sex and relationships education. Home educators will have to be registered and inspected. A review of the publication of family proceedings in court. Whole bill applies to England. Other parts cover Wales and extends in part to Northern Ireland.

Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Bill

Makes it an offence to use, produce, develop, acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer cluster munitions. Applies to whole UK.

Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill

Creates basis in law for Parliament to scrutinise treaties. Ends the by-election of hereditary peers to sit in House of Lords. Provides for disqualification of peers convicted of serious offences or subject to a bankruptcy order. Allows peers to resign peerages. Repeals legislation limiting protests around Parliament. Generally extends to whole UK.

Crime and Security Bill

Introduces mandatory assessment of parenting needs when 10 to 15-year-olds are considered for an ASBO. Reduces the amount of information police need to record when carrying out stop and search. Gives police the power to bar suspected domestic violence offenders from their homes for a period, even when not charged. Brings in a legal requirement to store air guns safely. Makes possession of a mobile phone in prison without authorisation a criminal offence. Introduces compulsory licensing for all wheel-clamping businesses. DNA records of adults who are arrested but not charged are to be held on database for six years. Allows police to take DNA samples and fingerprints of sexual and seriously violent offenders returning to UK following conviction overseas. Most aspects of the bill apply to England and Wales only.

Digital Economy Bill

Gives media regulator Ofcom the duty to assess the UK's communications infrastructure every two years. Updates regulations to make the digital radio switchover possible by 2015. Makes age ratings compulsory on all video games designed for children aged 12 and above. Promises to tackle infringement of copyright more effectively. Updates regulations for Channel 4, so it has to put public service content on its websites. Extends to whole UK.

Energy Bill

Sets rules for energy firms to provide support- such as rebates - for poorer customers, with regulator Ofgem having a duty to "proactively" protect them. Supports the construction of up to four carbon capture and storage schemes to cut pollution. Applies to England, Wales and Scotland.

Equality Bill

Gives the whole public sector a duty to "narrow the gap between rich and poor". Bans age discrimination outside the workplace - such as when buying goods and services like healthcare. Business with more than 250 employees will have to report on gender differences on pay. Strengthens powers of employment tribunals. Public bodies should use £200bn of public procurement deals at their disposal to "drive equality" in private sector firms. Covers England, Scotland and Wales.

Financial Services Bill

Establishes a Council for Financial Stability, chaired by the chancellor, and comprising Treasury, Bank of England and Financial Services Authority (FSA). Strengthens the FSA to take "action" on pay of those in financial services, following the recent outcry over bonuses. Promises action, in UK and internationally, on bankers' pay. Makes banks and other financial firms set up "living will" to make them easier to wind down in the event of a crisis. Bans unsolicited credit card cheques and enables the setting up of national money guidance service. Allows groups of consumers to bring court actions against financial institutions. Applies to whole UK.

Fiscal Responsibility Bill

Provides a "firm and binding statutory basis" for the government's promise to halve its budget deficit within four years. Gives Parliament power to approve medium-term fiscal plans. Promises that businesses and investors will have "certainty" about the government's fiscal plans. Applies to whole UK.

Flood and Water Management Bill

Following the floods of summer 2007, which caused £3bn of damage, gives local authorities the responsibility to deal with surface water flooding. Sustainable drainage systems will have to be considered for new building developments. Says the safety of communities near reservoirs must be improved, via risk-based regulation. Gives water companies more power to control customers' usage during droughts. Applies to England and Wales.

Personal Care at Home Bill

Guarantees free personal care for the 280,000 people with the "highest needs", such as those with serious dementia or Parkinson's disease. Protects the savings of the 166,000 people who currently get free care, saving them from having to pay future charges. Promises to help 130,000 people needing to enter care homes for the first time to "regain their independence". Offers adaptations to the neediest people's homes to increase their independence. Applies to England only.


House of Lords Reform Bill

Promises that the Lords will be between 80% and 100% elected. States the government should not hold a majority in the second chamber and its members must be independent. Applies to whole UK.

International Development Spending Bill

Requires that 0.7% of gross national income is spent on development from 2013. Applies to whole UK.


Some bills in the government's Draft Programme of legislation, outlined in June, have not been included in the Queen's Speech programme.

These are:

A Housing Bill, trebling the housing budget to £2.1bn and setting a target of building 110,000 new homes in England and Wales over two years.

A Health Bill, guaranteeing cancer patients in England a consultation within two weeks, a free health check for all over-40s and that no-one will have to wait more than 18 weeks between a GP referral and hospital treatment.

Several draft bills proposed in June are also not included. These are: the Antarctica Bill, the Immigration Simplification Bill, the Civil Law Reform Bill and the Animal Health and Responsibility and Cost-Sharing Bill.

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