The Queen outlines Government Bills for 2016/17

The Government has outlined what it intends to legislate for over the next 12 months, with North Cornwall set to benefit from a Universal service Obligation of 10Mbps broadband, more power to communities over neighbourhood planning, the retainement of business rates so all money raised stays in Cornwall, speedier adoption for children, and a potential space port just across the constituency border in Newquay.

 

Digital Economy Bill (UK-wide)

• Every UK household will have legal right to a fast broadband connection

• Minimum speed of 10Mbps to be guaranteed through Broadband Universal Service Obligation

• New code to cut the cost of building mobile phone masts and broadband cables

• Right to automatic compensation when broadband service goes down

• Companies must get consent before sending promotional spam emails, with fines for transgressors

• All websites containing pornographic images to require age verification for access


Modern Transport Bill

• Measures to encourage investment in driverless cars, electric cars, commercial space planes and drones (Great Britain only)

• Ensuring insurance is available to users of driverless cars (Great Britain only)

• Updating Air Travel Organiser's Licence (Atol), the UK's financial protection scheme for holidays (UK-wide)


Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill (England and Wales)

• Pre-commencement planning conditions to be streamlined to speed up housing developments

• Local communities to have more say over neighbourhood planning

• Changes to make compulsory planning orders "clearer, fairer and faster"

• A new statutory framework for paying compensation, based on market value of land

• National Infrastructure Commission to be put on statutory footing


Bus Services Bill (England only)

• Combined local authorities with elected mayors to have power to franchise local services

• Operators will be required to share route, fare and schedule data with app developers

• Councils to set standards for ticketing, branding and frequency of services

• Clearer and simpler franchising arrangements


Local Growth and Jobs Bill (England only)

• Framework to be put in place to enable local authorities to retain 100% of business rates levied

• New powers to be devolved to local authorities to be set out in law

• Combined authority mayors to have scope to levy business rate supplement to fund infrastructure projects


Better Markets Bill (UK-wide)

• Measures to make it easier for customers to switch banks and energy providers

• Competition and Market Authority recommendations for energy competition to be implemented

• Speeding up competition investigations and giving regulators more powers


NHS Overseas Visitors Charging Bill

• Overseas migrants and visitors will be charged for NHS services they are not entitled to

• Tighter residency rules mean fewer visitors from the European Economic Area will be able to access free health care

• "Full cost" of treating overseas patients to be recovered and ploughed back into NHS


Prison and Courts Reform Bill (England and Wales)

• New "reform" prisons to be opened, with emphasis on training, rehabilitation and education

• Governors of new prisons to have freedom to agree service contracts and establish their own boards

• More statistics on post-release offending and employment rates to be published

• Courts and tribunals to be modernised, with greater use of technology to reduce delays


Pensions Bill

• Better protection for people paying into multi-employer pension schemes known as Master Trusts (Great Britain only)

• Master Trusts to have to meet new criteria and be subject to closer supervision (Great Britain only)

• Capping early exit fees charged by trust-based occupational pension schemes (Great Britain only)

• Pension Advisory Service, Pension Wise and Money Advice Service to be merged into single body (UK-wide)

• New financial advice body to be created (UK-wide)


Children and Social Work Bill (England only)

• Adoption procedures to be speeded up

• Councils required to tell children leaving care what services they are entitled to

• All care leavers to have right to personal adviser to the age of 25

• A new social work regulator to focus on training and professional standards

• A duty on councils and schools to promote educational achievement for adopted children


Education for All Bill (Mainly England only)

• Powers to convert under-performing schools in "unviable" local authorities to academies

• Goal of making every school an academy but no compulsion to do so

• Head teachers, not councils, to be responsible for school improvement

• A new national funding formula for schools

• Schools to be responsible for assisting excluded pupils


Higher Education and Research Bill (Mainly England only)

• Removing barriers for new universities to be set up and for existing providers to get university status

• New Teaching Excellence Framework to focus on raising standards

• Universities to be required to publish detailed admissions data on ethnicity, gender and socio-economic background


National Citizen Service Bill (Discussions with devolved administrations)

• New statutory framework to deliver the National Citizen Service

• All state secondary schools, academies, private schools and councils required to promote NCS


Lifetime Savings Bill (UK-wide)

• Help to Save scheme announced in Budget to help those on low incomes build up "rainy day fund"

• Those in work but getting certain benefits who put aside £50 a month will see it matched by state

• New Lifetime ISA for under-40s to be introduced, offering £1,000 tax-free payment each year for those saving £4,000


Small Charitable Donations Bill (UK-wide)

• Gift Aid Small Donations scheme to be changed following a public consultation

• Aim to increase benefits of scheme for new and smaller charities, including amateur sports clubs

• Clarify rules concerning how charities connected with community buildings can benefit


Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill (England and Wales)

• A new civil order regime to be introduced to restrict extremist activity

• New powers of intervention to tackle radicalisation of children in "unregulated education settings"

• Government to step in where councils fail to tackle extremism, subject to consultation

• Ofcom to have power to regulate internet-streamed material from outside EU


Criminal Finances Bill (UK-wide)

• New criminal offence making companies liable for stopping their staff facilitating tax evasion

• Changes to laws on the proceeds of crime, to make it easier for the police and courts to recover criminal assets

• The Suspicious Activity Reports regime to be refocused, with emphasis on tackling systemic money laundering


Cultural Property Bill (UK-wide)

• The UK to ratify the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of armed conflict

• Dealing in cultural property illegally exported from occupied territory to be made criminal offence

• Property protected under the convention and its protocols to be identified by new Blue Shield


Wales Bill (Wales only)

• Clarification of the division of powers reserved to UK Parliament and those devolved to National Assembly of Wales

• Devolving powers over energy, transport and elections, including voting age, to Welsh Assembly

• Repeal of requirement for referendum prior to devolution of income tax powers


Intellectual Property Bill (UK-wide)

• Change the law relating to unjustified threats of legal action in cases involving patents, trade marks and design rights

• Make it easier for companies to settle intellectual property disputes out of court

• Exempting lawyers and other professional advisers from liability for threatening legal action in certain cases

• Subject to consultation and report by the Law Commission


Draft Law of Property Bill

• Response to Law Commission report on simplifying land ownership

 

Bills carried over from 2015-16

High Speed Rail Bill

• Give government the legal powers to build high-speed rail network between London and the West Midlands


Investigatory Powers Bill

• Overhaul of laws governing how the state gathers and retains private communications or other forms of data to combat crime

• Broadband and mobile phone providers will be compelled to hold a year's worth of communications data

• Creation of new Investigatory Powers Commissioner


Policing and Crime Bill

• Closer collaboration between the emergency rescue services

• Overhaul of the police complaints and disciplinary systems

• A ban on under-18s being held in police cells as a "place of safety"

 

Other measures

Bill of Rights (Subject to consultation)

• Plans for a British bill of rights to replace the Human Rights Act will be published in "due course" and subject to consultation

• Proposals for a new framework of human rights, based on those set out in the European Convention on Human Rights

• Bill of rights also to take into account UK's "common law tradition"


Soft Drinks Industry Levy (UK-wide)
 

• New levy on producers of drinks with added sugar content to come into force in April 2018

• Measure to be included in 2017 Finance Bill

• Money raised will be used to increase funding for school sports, after-school activities and breakfast clubs