Last week saw the start of the next session of this Parliament with the State Opening and the Queens Speech.
The speech lays out the Government’s legislative programme for the next 12 months so very much sets the political tone.
There were several main Bills proposed in the speech and these will be brought forward, scrutinised and debated in the Chamber, in Committee and doubtlessly in the Lords between now and next May.
The Care Bill will reform the way that long-term care is paid for.
It will ensure that the elderly no longer have to sell their homes in their lifetime to pay for long-term care.
Many of us know people who, having worked all their lives, bought and paid for the family home, have then had to sell that home to fund their long-term care.
This Bill will cap the costs of that care, meaning that this injustice should no longer carry on.
The Immigration Bill will contain measures to make it harder for people to prevent their removal with spurious appeals; it will reduce the complexity of immigration law and make it clear that foreign national offenders should be deported, except in extraordinary circumstances.
Furthermore it will ensure that access to public services such as the NHS will be regulated to ensure that those who do access them are making a contribution.
The National Insurance Contributions Bill will help businesses with recruiting costs, and particularly small businesses.
Every business and charity will be entitled to a £2,000 Employment Allowance from next April.
When any business takes on a new member of staff it is a huge commitment.
Nowhere is this more so than in a small or micro business.
This will help with that decision and reduce the costs to the employer. In addition to this measure to reduce costs, particularly to small businesses, a Deregulation Bill will reduce the burden of unnecessary legislation on firms, including repealing legislation that is no longer of any practical use.
There are further proposals on Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing, offender rehabilitation, Consumer Rights and Pensions, and I was pleased to see a Mesothelioma Bill given my earlier stance on the issue.
Many of these proposals will be laid out in more detail as we progress through the session. I will study the detail and if I feel there needs to be amendments and changes I will speak to the relevant Minister, but the speech is about backing people who work hard, controlling and reducing immigration, deterring those who would abuse our system and keeping Britain moving forward in difficult times.
Andrew Bingham’s forthcoming advice surgeries - Friday May 17, 4pm-5.30pm, Edale Village Hall, Edale; 6pm-7.30pm, Moore Memorial Hall, Brentwood Road, Bamford. Friday May 31, 3pm-4.30pm, New Mills Town Hall, New Mills; 5pm-6.30pm, Whaley Bridge Mechanics Institute, Market Street.