By Paul Goodman
Follow Paul on Twitter.
The Queen's Speech takes place tomorrow. Harry Phibbs wrote about its contents over the weekend. Last year, this site published an entire alternative Queen's Speech, and I thought it would be worth listing its measures in full:
- British Bill of Rights Bill – "In all but the most exceptional circumstances, human rights cases
brought in or against Britain should be decided in our Supreme Court,
- Rail Improvements Bill – to plan for long-term investment in existing railways, rather than spend the same money on HS2.
- Make Prison Work Bill – to ensure that foreign nationals serve sentences in their country of origin, and mentally ill criminals
be sent to mental health professionals or social services.
- Affordable Energy Bill – to cut electricity generation subsidies, facilitate the extraction of shale gas away from settlements, and promote more competition amongst suppliers.
- Anti-Congestion Bill – to require local authorities as highways authorities to make
reducing road congestion a requirement of their highways strategy
- A Double EU Referendum Bill – to propose a Mandate Referendum for renegotiation followed by an In/Out Referendum, offering In on the renegotiated terms or Out.
- Double Devolution Bill – to balance permitting the Scottish Parliament to set and collect most taxes with English votes for English laws at Westminster.
- Finance Bill – to reduce the top rate of tax to 40%, take more people out of the 40% rate, and reduce Capital Gains Tax to 20%.
- Trade Union Members' Bill – to make strike action legal only if 50% of a union's members take part in a ballot, and give union members more discretion over
political levy donations.
- Lords Reform Bill – to reform the Upper House after change has been considered by a Royal Commission.
A few of these ideas have been taken up by the Government. For example, there seems to be overlap between its Queen's Speech proposals and the Fairness to UK Taxpayers' Bill – including the restrictions on state pensions for people based abroad floated today.
More cannot be enacted within the framework of the Coalition. I have my doubts about one or two of the measures above – such as the double referendum bill, to which I'll return later this week – but many of the measures, such as the Electoral Integrity Bill, are badly needed.