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Royal Assent

Mr. Speaker: I have to acquaint the House that the House has been to the House of Peers where a Commission under the Great Seal was read, authorising the Royal Assent to the following Acts:

Appropriation No. 2 Act 2010

Finance Act 2010

Anti-Slavery Day Act 2010

Equality Act 2010

Northern Ireland Assembly Members Act 2010

Crime and Security Act 2010

Personal Care at Home Act 2010

Mortgage Repossessions (Protection of Tenants Etc.) Act 2010

Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Act 2010

Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Act 2010

Bribery Act 2010

Digital Economy Act 2010

Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010

Children, Schools and Families Act 2010

Energy Act 2010

Financial Services Act 2010

Flood and Water Management Act 2010

Bournemouth Borough Council Act 2010

Manchester City Council Act 2010

8 Apr 2010 : Column 1257

Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech

Mr. Speaker: I have further to acquaint the House that the Leader of the House of Lords, one of the Lords Commissioners, delivered Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, in pursuance of Her Majesty's Command. For greater accuracy I have obtained a copy, and also directed that the terms of the Speech be printed in the Journal of this House. Copies are being made available in the Vote Office.

The Speech was as follows:

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

My Government's overriding priority has been to restore growth to deliver a fair and prosperous economy for families and businesses, as the British economy recovers from the global economic downturn. Through employment and training programmes, restructuring the financial sector, strengthening the national infrastructure and providing responsible investment, my Government has taken action to support growth and employment.

My Government has also strengthened key public services, ensuring that, increasingly, individual entitlements guarantee good services, and has worked to build trust in democratic institutions.

My Government has sought effective global and European collaboration, including through the European Union, to combat climate change, including at the Copenhagen summit in December last year, and to sustain economic recovery through the G20.

The Duke of Edinburgh and I were pleased to visit Bermuda, and Trinidad and Tobago for our State Visit and to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the Commonwealth's 60th anniversary year. We were glad to welcome the President of South Africa on his successful visit to this country earlier this year.

The Duke of Edinburgh and I were saddened to learn of the devastation brought on Haiti and Chile by recent earthquakes and hope that relief and reconstruction efforts, which my Government and the British people have supported, can build on the spirit and resilience displayed by their people.

My Government has continued to reform and strengthen regulation of the financial services industry to ensure a stable financial sector that supports the wider economy, with greater protection for savers and taxpayers.

As the economic recovery is established, my Government has taken steps to reduce the budget deficit and ensure that national debt is on a sustainable path. Legislation has been enacted to halve the deficit.

An Act has been passed to enable the wider provision of free personal care to those with the highest needs.

An Act has been passed to protect communities by ensuring that parents take responsibility for their children's antisocial behaviour and by tackling youth gang crime.

An Act has been passed to ensure the communications infrastructure is fit for the digital age, supports future economic growth, delivers competitive communications and enhances public service broadcasting.

8 Apr 2010 : Column 1258

Legislation has been enacted to support carbon capture and storage and to help more of the most vulnerable households with their energy bills.

My Government has set out proposals for high-speed rail services between London and Scotland.

Legislation has been enacted to protect communities from flooding and to improve the management of water supplies.

My Government has remained committed to ensuring everyone has a fair chance in life and an Act has been passed to promote equality, narrow the gap between rich and poor and tackle discrimination. The Act also introduces transparency in the workplace to help address the differences in pay between men and women.

An Act has been passed to enshrine in law the commitment by my Government to abolish child poverty by 2020.

Legislation has been enacted to provide agency workers with the right to be treated equally with permanent staff on pay, holidays and other basic conditions after twelve weeks on an assignment.

Legislation has been enacted to take forward constitutional reform.

An Act has been passed to strengthen the law against bribery .

My Government has continued to work closely with the devolved administrations in the interests of all the people of the United Kingdom. My Government has remained committed to the Northern Ireland political process and has continued to work with Northern Ireland's leaders to ensure the continued stability of the devolved institutions and to complete the process of devolution by transferring policing and justice functions in April this year.

In Scotland, my Government set out plans to further strengthen devolution in its response to Final Report of the Commission on Scottish Devolution. My Government has continued to devolve more powers to Wales and has remained committed to a referendum on further devolution.

Members of the House of Commons

I thank you for the provision you have made for the work and dignity of the Crown and for the public service.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

My Government has worked for security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and Pakistan and for peace in the Middle East.

Legislation has been enacted to ban cluster munitions.

My Government has continued to work towards creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, including addressing the challenges from Iran and North Korea.

Draft legislation has been published to make binding my Government's commitment to spend nought point seven per cent of national income on international development from 2013.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.

8 Apr 2010 : Column 1259


Mr. Speaker: The Commission was also for proroguing this present Parliament, and the Leader of the House of Lords said:

End of the Fifth Session (opened on 18 November 2009) of the Fifty-Fourth Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Fifty-Ninth Year of the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.

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