AFRICANGLOBE – Queen Elizabeth II outlined in her annual speech the British Government’s plans to reduce immigration in the House of Lords today.
The issue of curbing people seeking to take up residence in the UK is one of the Government’s top priorities for the coming months.
Measures included in clamping down on perceived excesses in the system are securing the NHS in how it is accessed, requiring landlords to check the immigration status of tenants, and ensuring DVLA does not issue driving licences to illegal immigrants.
The proposed immigration bill aims to “ensure that this country attracts people who will contribute and deter those who will not”, the Queen said.
If passed, the bill would also make it easier for foreign convicted criminals to be deported, and those who have entered the country illegally.
Reflecting the core message the coalition is attempting disseminate, the Queen told the chamber that ministers’ “first priority” is to strengthen the economy and “reduce the deficit”.
“It will also work to promote a fairer society that rewards people who work hard”, she added.
Reacting to the Queen’s speech, Conservative politician Alok Sharma said: “The Queen’s Speech was all about measures to promote growth and back hard working people who want to get on, as well as helping individuals and families with the cost of living.
“I particularly welcome the proposed measures to boost growth and create employment by reducing national insurance bills each year and entitling every business and charity to a £2,000 Employment Allowance from April 2014 as well as a Deregulation Bill to reduce further unnecessary regulation on businesses”, added the MP for Reading West.
15 bills were mentioned by the Queen, the topics of alcohol pricing and further monitoring internet usage were not included.
Addressing the Commons later in his speech, British Prime Minster David Cameron focused on criticising Labour and the legacy it left behind, in regards to the deficit.
He also called opposition leader Ed Miliband “weak”, and unable to stand up to the demands of shadow Chancellor Ed Balls.
The Labour leader said in his address that the Queen’s Speech contained no solutions to Britain’s problems, and that the Government had learned the wrong lessons from UKIP gains in the recent local elections.
Miliband also accused Cameron’s government of borrowing more than it claims to be doing.
Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, who was personally attacked in the Tory leader’s speech for making up comparisons about himself to Barack Obama on his Wikipeda page, defended Labour’s policies.
The MP for Streatham supported fellow MP Tessa Jowell, tweeting that she was “absolutely right to highlight need for tougher enforcement of the National Minimum Wage”.