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Queen’s Speech to Parliament outlines Government agenda

The Government has announced its legislative programme for the next Parliamentary session via the Queen’s Speech today, with measures including public sector pensions reform, changes to the libel laws, a draft bill on social care funding, more flexible working for families, banking reform, secret hearings in courts, and a new regulator in the supermarket sector.

Reform of the House of Lords also get a mention, and is likely to be a continuing source of conflict within the Coalition, with some suggestions it may be put on the back burner.

Pensions reform remains a controversial issue – many public sector workers are planning protests and strike action tomorrow (Thursday May 10).

The libel reforms have been warmly welcomed by campaigners, who say changes are needed to protect investigative journalism, science writing and freedom of expression, in the face of aggressive ‘libel tourism’ and outdated defamation laws. But civil liberties campaigners are very worried about proposals to extend internet surveillance, and allow secret evidence to be heard in court.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the party would support the Green Investment Bank, the defamation bill and flexible parental leave.

But shadow home secretary and shadow minister for women and equality, Yvette Cooper MP, said: “David Cameron and Nick Clegg are still making life harder not easier for families across the country, and the Queen’s Speech doesn't change that.

“The Government cannot claim to be family friendly when it is cutting child
care support, cutting tax credits for part time working parents, and taking
more from children than the banks.”

(Image: Parliamentary Copyright – Contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v1.0. )

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