David Cameron and Nick Clegg have said their final Queen’s speech before the general election will be ‘bold’ and “unashamedly pro-work and pro-business”.

The speech, which will announce the government’s legislative programme for the coming year, will commence just before 11.40am today and is expected to put emphasis on helping those “who want to get on in life”.

Ministers will say changes to annuities and funding of workplace pensions will show the coalition’s continuing “boldness” and will mark a “significant step” in developing the economic recovery and in promoting work, enterprise and opportunity.

During the historic State Opening of Parliament ceremony, the Queen will announce the laws the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition hopes to pass, which will then be debated by MPs in the Commons on Wednesday afternoon.

A BBC report states the following among the measures expected to feature:

  • A bill implementing reforms to annuities, which was announced in March’s Budget. The bill removes the need to buy an annuity with pensions and allows an individual to withdraw their whole retirement income at one time should they choose.
  • A separate bill to allow employees to pay into collective pension funds shared with other workers
  • Extra legal protection for those doing charitable work or planning local events who end up being involved in liability claims
  • Plans for a 5p charge for plastic bags in England as announced at last year’s Lib Deb conference.
  • Extra help for pub landlords
  • A new state-funded childcare subsidy work up to ¬£2,000 a year

In a joint statement, the Prime Minister and his Deputy said:

“We may be two parties, with two different philosophies but we understand one thing.¬†Countries rise when their people rise. So this Queen’s Speech is unashamedly pro-work, pro-business and pro-aspiration.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband called for a Queen’s Speech which “signals a new direction for Britain, not one which offers more of the same.”

He continued:

“We need action, we need answers, we need a programme for government equal to the scale of the challenge our country faces,” he said. “We would have a Queen’s Speech with legislation which would make work pay, reform our banks, freeze energy bills and build homes again in Britain.”

Photo by RobertSharp