The full text of Queen Elizabeth II’s speech to British Parliament on 18 November, 2009.
My government’s overriding priority is to ensure sustained growth to deliver a fair and prosperous economy for families and businesses, as the British economy recovers from the global economic downturn. Through active employment and training programmes, restructuring the financial sector, strengthening the national infrastructure and providing responsible investment, my government will foster growth and employment.
My government will also strengthen key public services, ensuring that individual entitlements guarantee good services, and will work to build trust in democratic institutions.
My government will seek effective global and European collaboration through the G20 and the European Union to sustain economic recovery and to combat climate change, including at the Copenhagen summit next month.
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The Duke of Edinburgh and I look forward to our visit to Bermuda and our state visit to Trinidad and Tobago and to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in this, the Commonwealth’s 60th anniversary year. We also look forward to receiving the president of South Africa next year.
My government will continue to reform regulation of the financial services industry to ensure greater protection for savers and taxpayers . Legislation will be brought forward to enhance the governance of the financial sector and to control the system of rewards.
As the economic recovery is established, my government will reduce the budget deficit and ensure national debt is on a sustainable path. Legislation will be brought forward to halve the deficit.
My government will introduce a bill to enable the wider provision of free personal care to those in highest care need. Legislation will be brought forward to introduce guarantees for pupils and parents to raise educational standards.
My government will legislate to protect communities by ensuring that parents take responsibility for their children’s antisocial behaviour and by tackling youth gang crime.
My government will introduce a bill to ensure the communications infrastructure is fit for the digital age, supports future economic growth, delivers competitive communications and enhances public service broadcasting.
Legislation will be introduced to support carbon capture and storage and to help more of the most vulnerable households with their energy bills.
My government will respond to proposals for high-speed rail services between London and Scotland.
Legislation will be introduced to protect communities against flooding and to improve the management of water supplies.
My government is committed to ensuring everyone has a fair chance in life and will continue to take forward legislation narrow the gap between rich and poor and tackle discrimination. The bill would also introduce transparency in the workplace to help address the differences in pay between men and women. My government will continue to enshrine in law its commitment to abolish child poverty by 2020.
My government will ensure that agency workers have a right to equal treatment with permanent staff on pay, holidays and other basic conditions.
Legislation will continue to be taken forward on constitutional reform. My government will also publish draft legislation on proposals for a reformed second chamber of parliament with a democratic mandate.
A bill will be introduced to strengthen the law against bribery.
My government will continue to work closely with the devolved administrations in the interests of all the people of the United Kingdom. My government is committed to the Northern Ireland political process and will continue to work with Northern Ireland’s leaders to complete the devolution of policing and justice and to ensure its success.
In Scotland, my government will take forward proposals in the final report of the commission on Scottish devolution. My government will continue to devolve more powers to Wales.
Estimates for the public services will be laid before you.
My government will work for security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and Pakistan and for peace in the Middle East.
Legislation will be brought forward to ban cluster munitions.
My government will work towards creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, including addressing the challenges from Iran and North Korea.
Draft legislation will be published to make binding my government’s commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on international development by 2013.
Other measures will be laid before you.
I pray that the blessing of almighty God may rest upon your counsels.