Key Points of the Queen’s Speech

May 28, 2010 Updated: May 28, 2010

Business and economy

The deficit and the economy are the first priority of the government’s legislative programme. A new Office for Budget responsibility will take financial forecasting away from the Chancellor.
The Bank of England will be granted new powers, with control over macro-prudential regulation in the city, in a Financial Reform Bill.
The British Airways Authority may be broken up, as a new bill promotes competition in the airport market.
Part of the Royal Mail would be sold, as set out by Lord Mandelson, while retaining the network of post offices in public ownership. The exact proportion is not specified.

Welfare

The welfare and benefits system are to be simplified and working incentives improved. The planned rise in state pension age to 66 – currently planned for 2024 – will be brought forward. The pensions earnings link, which was broken under Thatcher, will be restored.

Education

Changes to education have been hailed as flagship reforms for the coalition government. More schools will be able to become academies, and schools will have more say over the curriculum and management of pupil behaviour.
Downing Street also said it would contain measures to give parents the right to set up their own schools. Plans also include a "pupil premium", which was one of the Lib Dems' key policies, to raise the standard of schooling for children from the most deprived backgrounds.

Reform of government

A parliamentary reform bill will introduce fixed-term Parliament and give the electorate the right to recall MPs guilty of serious wrongdoing with a petition signed by 10 per cent of electors in a constituency.
The bill also contains the coalition deal-maker of a referendum on the Alternative Vote system, which David Cameron has said will happen in 2011.
Parliamentary constituency maps will be redrawn to reduce numbers of MPs and make seats a similar size.
Councils and neighbourhoods will be granted more power through the decentralisation and localism bill, which also gives residents the ability to instigate referendums and veto excessive council tax increases.
The process of Scottish devolution is to continue, with the implementation of the final report of the Calman commission.

Home affairs and civil liberties

Police forces will be more directly accountable, through “directly elected individuals” in areas of key responsibility through the police reform and social responsibility bill. The bill will also create a dedicated border police force, and prevent health and safety legislation from getting in the way of "common sense policing" and overhaul the Licensing Act.
Authorities' use of CCTV cameras and the police DNA database will come under new restrictions. There will be a ban on the storage of internet and e-mail records without good reason.
The ID card system – still in the early stages of being rolled out – will be abolished, together with the national identity register.
New powers will be granted to allow authorities to seize assets from terrorists.