News

Queen's Speech today


Published May 27, 2015

Below are some of the Bills that we expect to be announced today with our initial thoughts on each one.

EU Referendum Bill

It was the pressure of UKIP that no doubt pushed this to even happen. However we don't think Cameron will get any major renegotiations from Brussels and is likely to still be on the 'in' side of the campaign. Labour are suggesting that they may oppose the bill, with support from Lib Dems and smaller parties, unless the voting age is reduced to 16. We oppose any change to the Westminster template which also disables EU nationals resident in the UK from voting.

One question remains, will Cameron whip the cabinet to vote for 'in'?

UKIP must remain a leading light in this campaign fighting for what we believe in, and what we started.

Income Tax Bill

UKIP were the only party at the General election to present a fully costed manifesto that also enabled tax cuts to low and middle earners while managing to clear the deficit. This policy is basically UKIP-lite, promising to lift people on minimum wage out of tax but not able to afford the tax cuts we could offer. This is because the Conservatives will continue to press ahead with the high rate of foreign aid payments (the fastest growing in Europe and more per capita than USA), EU membership fees and costly projects such as HS2, meaning they haven't got the money needed to give hard working taxpayers a break.  Also the only country to also have fixed tax rates by legislation was Nigeria, a position considered bonkers due to the instability of the world financial markets. If Greece brings down the Euro and we don't have the flexibility to react, the Government may regret binding themselves in an unnecessary straitjacket simply designed to win over voters.

Immigration Bill

This Bill suggests that the Conservatives are passing the onus for immigration enforcement to employers and landlords rather than coming up with sensible solutions to enhancing the border force. One of the main stresses on inward migration has been the open door to Europe.

We are now seeing 45,000 Romanians and Bulgarians come to the UK per annum, as UKIP predicted, and EU migration last year totalled 268,000 meaning a quarter of a million more EU citizens in UK jobs. Immigration figures last week were the highest in almost a decade showing that David Cameron does not have a grip on the situation. His PR solution was to go on an immigration raid the morning the figures were released and announce this raft of policies that are unlikely to even dent the net inflow coming to Britain.

641,000 people immigrated to the UK in 2014, a statistically significant increase from 526,000 in 2013. There were statistically significant increases for immigration of EU (non-British) citizens (up 67,000 to 268,000) and non-EU citizens (up 42,000 to 290,000). Immigration of British citizens increased by 7,000 to 83,000, but this was not statistically significant.

Pick apart this bill and you realise that the Prime Minister doesn't even have a vague handle on Britain's mounting immigration problem.

City Devolution Bill

We support the concept of devolution but would rather real power be handed down to councils. The last time referenda were held on this matter they demonstrated little appetite for regional devolution. A number of cities are still not fully signed up to the proposals put forward by George Osborne, including directly elected Mayors. This is being seen as a way to attempt to wrong foot Labour in their heartlands. Again, a pre-election promise to stump Labour that may cause the Conservatives embarrassment now that they have to try to put it in place.

Employment Bill

We wait to see whether David Cameron can live up to his promise of creating two million jobs and three million apprenticeships. He doesn't really say how. Of course UKIP would also prioritise British citizens for British jobs and ensure anybody coming to live here would have to already have secured employment. While the Conservatives did mention at one point wanting to stop British jobs being advertised abroad first, there is little he can do about safeguarding newly created jobs for unemployed UK citizens under the EU's single market terms.

Schools Bill

UKIP believes the best way to achieve social mobility is through the creation of more Grammar schools, apprenticeship and vocational education from GCSE level and supporting STEM subjects in Higher Education with means based grants. While we support the principle of free schools, we want these to be open to the entire community and not discriminate against any section of society and uphold British values.

Childcare Bill

UK childcare costs are now the most expensive in Europe. Children from socially deprived backgrounds are adversely affected. We want a full review of childcare provision - currently it is fragmented between various Government departments. We support the Conservative's promise of the provision of 15 hours a week of free childcare, but would want to see more flexibility enabling families to choose a nanny or childminder of their own rather than an OFSTED registered one. We also believe there needs to be more nursery places and place a statutory duty on all primary schools to offer before and after school care from 8am-6pm during term time with the option to extend this throughout school holidays

Enterprise Bill

Cameron says he wants to cut small business regulation by £10billion. How he can do this without lraving the EU, given that most of the regulation tying up SMEs emanates from Brussels, is once again unclear. Whilst some of the likely measures are largely sensible, small businesses will not thrive unless we leave the EU. 

Scotland Bill

Cameron, along with the other party leaders last year, bent over backwards to ensure Scotland was sated after the failed independence referendum. This means giving even more money to Scotland. We want to scrap the Barnett Formula which gives more money per head to Scotland than England and ensure there is a fair deal for all, including English votes on English only laws. The system the Conservatives have proposed on English only votes is a misnomer, as it is only carried out at committee level and is a poor concession for English voters, even more worrying considering the number of SNP MPs there now are in the House of Commons who could vote legislation down. The Scottish are essentially getting to have their cake, and eat it.

Human Rights Act Repeal Bill

The Conservatives have pledged to abolish the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights. The Conservative manifesto says: "This will break the formal link between British courts and the European Court of Human Rights, and make our own Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter of human rights matters in the UK."

It will be interesting to see how this is managed considering the Human Rights Act is now a condition of EU membership since the Lisbon Treaty. It would appear the Conservative Party are back-peddling massively realising promises made the night before an election are infeasible in the clear light of day.

We also want to scrap the HRA and replace it with our own Bill of Rights, but know that leaving the EU is the best way of doing this.

Counter-extremism Bill

Extremism Disruption Orders sound rather ineffective for hardened terrorists if they merely are equivalent to ASBOs, but also do not prescribe who they could be applied to. This could mean infringement of freedom of speech, not for terrorists but all manner of opinions across the spectrum. We believe border control is a key issue in the fight against extremism and the importation of terrorists. Today the EU will continue to attempt to push through a common migration policy meaning asylum seekers travelling from North Africa trying to Europe will be distributed around the continent without full checks as to who they are.

Communications and Data Bill

UKIP is concerned about the 'Snoopers' Charter' and infringement of civil liberties. While our security services must be resourced to deal with the increasing terror threat there must be clear delineation between tracking known and suspected terrorists and criminals and being able to snoop on individual citizens' lives.

Housing Bill

'Right to buy' is going to put more strain on the UK's housing stock when more housing desperately needs to be built. It will likely push up house prices for other buyers in a market where only 23% of properties are deemed 'affordable' nationally. UKIP would develop brownfield sites and bring empty homes back into use. While we support Right To Buy we would drive 100% of the revenue back into community housing. We would also ensure social housing stock is available only to UK citizens, as that Right to Buy equally could not be exploited by foreign nationals.

NHS Bill

The Conservatives made several commitments on the NHS during the election campaign - and David Cameron used his first major post-election speech to focus on his plans for the health service in England. He has pledged to boost funding by at least £8bn extra a year by 2020 and to create "a truly seven-day NHS". The government is also promising to recruit 5,000 new GPs. This big, uncosted promise remains just that - big and uncosted. This could end up as Cameron's 'Cleggian' moment, where a major uncosted promise is quickly carpet bagged much to the dismay of millions of voters. UKIP made sensible and necessary pledges to increase NHS spending, and proved that under our policies, we could actually afford it.

 

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