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Queens Speech Pt.2 watch

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    im not gonna lie, i actually thought u were talking about Lady Leshurr Queens Speech lollll
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Do you recognise having a goal of reducing the welfare budget is a fundamental issue?
    I dispute the idea that throwing money at something will necessarily make it work better. There are two directions for our welfare system to go. The first is tackling every part of it and returning to a system with much larger distribution of wealth. This is an undesirable system because it is not sustainable; other economies are simply too similar in their taxation to permit a significant rise in taxes for the rich. The second is appreciating the necessity of austerity and changing this country's culture, to reward those who work and create a simpler system that is easier to understand and harder to cheat. As Chancellor, I will be pursuing the second direction which is best achieved with a Negative Income Tax. I will not say whether this will entain a net reduction in the welfare budget or not, because I do not believe that is the primary issue. What I will say is that we will strive as a government to make sure nobody is significantly worse off under a reformed system and that the number of people in relative poverty is not set to increase by any large quantity.

    We will never agree on direction; that debate is for when a bill is presented in the coming weeks and months. However, this is the government's position and I hope this makes clear how I will be tackling this issue under the authority of our Prime Minister.
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    In addition, my government will seek to merge both Income Tax and National Insurance, aiming to improve efficiency so that the people will have a greater freedom in managing their own costs and indeed will no longer suffer from overtaxation, having the freedom to contribute to society in their own way.
    This is party policy so I support this.


    The United Kingdom will enter a period of revived freedoms long thought to be dormant, and to facilitate this growth my ministers see it fit that VAT is reduced across all sectors and in particular, lowered substantially for pubs.
    VAT reduction is also Tory policy too so I support this.

    My Government will also introduce a Negative Income Tax to allow greater freedom within the welfare system, as well as simplification.
    I will not support this. We had 3 Liberal MP and 1 Libertarian MP who did not vote for the Welfare Modernisation Bill which doesn't give me much confidence that this aim can be achieved without having an embarrassing defeat for the government. I was never fully confident with this policy once I saw it and I don't think NIT can be achieved nor do I think it's a better replacement than the current system. If it will be implemented it needs to be done with a lot of thought to it and I don't think this government will put much thought into it, after all this is a student site.

    For the safety and freedom of the public, as well as ensuring confidence in our justice system , my ministers will review the current prevalence of CCTV within certain areas, and will seek to abolish the requirement for such areas to have them installed. No citizen should have to fear unnecessary surveillance where they have nothing to hide.
    This is a ridiculous and frankly a dogmatic policy just for "liberalism" - CCTV is very important for the safety of our citizens and if you're in public you lose the right to do whatever you want without CCTV. Crime will simply thrive in these places and then you'll have a problem where cases will have limited evidence, probably leaving some victims without justice - this policy I oppose. If they have "nothing to hide", why do they need to worry about a little camera watching them. And it's a bit contradictory that you say for the safety of the public you will remove something that keeps them safe... sounds like nonsense.

    Only a few days in and pragmatism is down in a ditch somewhere.

    With regards to the prison system, a clearer focus on rehabilitation is needed. To help prisoners back into society, this government shall endeavour to allow for more opportunities for them, helping them contribute to a more prosperous United Kingdom in a way which is not to the detriment of our own law abiding citizens. As such, this government is dedicated to improving the underlying social aspects that cause prisoners to reoffend.
    I support this policy but this is quite vague.

    There are indications that confidence in our justice system is withering, therefore my ministers will restore faith in it by implementing policies such as ensuring that the divorce system favours neither spouse, and indeed that there will be no need to place blame upon a party for the breakdown of the marriage in order to have sufficient grounds for a divorce.
    I'd likely support this but I'd need to see legislation.

    Following on from that, my government pledges to review the issues surrounding rape cases which have recently made headlines, and will be committed to making the necessary changes to restore the faith of British citizens in the criminal justice system.
    Sounds all nice but again, no effort to say what these changes might be.

    It shall be the goal of this government to legalise Class A drugs completely, for both social and economic benefit. Drug users will no longer be isolated because of their addiction and the taxes paid on drugs shall be put towards the rehabilitation of addicts as an investment.
    Definitely not.

    Health is a diverse issue within our nation, and this government recognises that there has been failure to bring our National Health Service - a service that once prided itself on excellence in the past - into modern times. For too long have citizens endured overcrowding, causing long waiting times to receive beneficial treatment, and for too long deaths which could easily have been stopped, were not. The only solution proposed in the past was to invest more into the service without reward - this government vows to end that and provide a real solution to the problem.The introduction of a NHIS based scheme would bridge the gap between national and private healthcare, where no citizen will be afraid to lose out on healthcare based on their income, wealth or social class. The government believes that healthcare is a service that is available to all, but to ensure this quality system there must be an increased choice of private healthcare providers, and that their choice can be reimbursed by authorities. This policy on healthcare, my government believes, will propel our nation as a beacon of grandeur and equality of opportunity.
    I still need to see how this will work out and I didn't get a chance to in the previous government with the Liberals which makes me think if this policy will even be pursued. And is this really the only policy you have for the Health department?

    Defence is a key aspect for the safety of our nation, and thus, my government will commit themselves to the NATO 2% defence budget. The United Kingdom, as a global nation, will be committed to helping our allies and preserving peace on a global scale against those with malicious intent, those desiring to upset the current balance, and those who wish to bring harm to our nation or its citizens. My government will not be held back in those regards; they will pursue diplomacy, and if necessary intervention, in order to maintain what is right in the world. Furthermore, my ministers believe that the British Peace Corps have served its purpose and will issue a timeline of withdrawal from their stationed points; after reviewing its current status it is clear that it has contributed all it can to the world. For a more global United Kingdom, my government believes this to be the appropriate course of action.
    Essentially maintaining 2% GDP for Defence and abolition of BPC. Defence is nearly as dry as Health on policy - that's what happens when you focus on safety and remove CCTVs I guess!

    My government believes that education change is paramount to a more equal and prosperous United Kingdom. Therefore, my ministers will seek to introduce an education-voucher based scheme, to allow for more choice for parents and children transitioning into secondary education. For too long families have been restricted to where they could progress to due to social and economic backgrounds. To maximise this freedom, we seek to abolish SATs at the end of year 6 as a mandatory examination. Additionally, alongside grammar reforms we will seek to abolish the 11+ in favour of allowing different organisations to hold exams for selective admissions, as with exams taken later on in the education system. This government believes this will remove the stigma regarding the end of year 6 and at the same time, exchange the 11+ for an exam based on merit and will thus test knowledge based on the national curriculum up to the end of year 5. This will put our children in a position which maximises their choice and potential, no longer being dependent on their social background for success. A grant for more grammar schools within areas devoid of such institutions will facilitate this increase of freedom of choice, without the need of artificial management of intake through suggested quotas. My government will also seek to extend free school meals as a choice to all primary school children to ensure no child is left without receiving a balanced lunch at school. As for post-sixteen education, my government would advise an expansion of T-Levels so that there is the freedom of both practical and academic courses which will lend itself well to a growing apprenticeship choice. Finally, my government sees the general cap of '9250 as unnecessary and that it harms both universities and students alike. Therefore, the policy of removing this limit will be pursued, allowing for greater freedom for universities to charge what is required for their courses and to reach out to prospective students, encouraging greater competition between different establishments.
    How is the 11+ not already based on merit?

    Free School Meal extension I oppose - there is no reason why it should be extended. Those who can afford it can pay, those who cannot have the system that works for them - which gives them free school meals. This policy was just shoved in to get left wing support but I doubt they will support it as a result of the tuition fee cap removal and grammar school policy.

    My ministers are committed to seeing that this prosperity continues into our own infrastructure, and thus sees it as a necessity to continue nuclear fusion commitments and to look into the expansion of nuclear power stations as a stepping stone towards renewables.This government therefore sees this as a policy that goes hand in hand with the gradual phasing out of petrol and diesel cars to ensure that we move towards a purely electric transport system. My government also sees the need to increase funding to MAGLEV transport and will be seeking to work on an international level to ensure the efficiency of such an expensive system when the time comes.
    A bit meh but nothing I oppose here.

    My ministers understand that the TV License has become a burden on many consumers and to combat this, my government will produce legislation on exemptions for both pensioners, students and those earning under the basic rate of income tax threshold. The aim is to bring the TV Licence into an increasingly digitised age and make it more appealing.
    For pensioners this has already kind of been done. For students that's a waste of money just like their UFSM policy. The last sentence also could mean anything...

    There's some good stuff in the Queen's Speech and I'm happy to see some of the policies are being continued from the previous government but I disagree with a significant amount of this Queen's Speech. I'd need a lot of convincing to vote Aye on this that's for sure...
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    (Original post by CoffeeGeek)
    Sounds all nice but again, no effort to say what these changes might be.
    This is of course my department. You are correct to criticise the slight vagueness of the statement and in response I say that I've started work on a Statement of Intent which will provide much clearer detail as to what my department will be doing over the next three months of this government.
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    I agree with some of the stuff in the QS. I would like to point out that pensioners are already exempt from paying TV licence fee.
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    (Original post by mr T 999)
    I agree with some of the stuff in the QS. I would like to point out that pensioners are already exempt from paying TV licence fee.
    Only after 75, I believe, unless I am mistaken or TSR law is different.
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    (Original post by mr T 999)
    I agree with some of the stuff in the QS. I would like to point out that pensioners are already exempt from paying TV licence fee.
    And students are already covered by their parents, working on the basis that most will likely be using a laptop or their phone.
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    Theres a lot more polices here that i agree with than i thought i would.

    Healhcare - I think a NHIS is a good compromise as there is no mandate for privatisation in the house.
    Defence - Good commitment to 2% but it's a baseline not a ceiling, defence spending should be increased to at least 2.5% then 3% when fiscal conditions allow.
    Taxation - I agree with merging Income and NI, I could get behind a NIT providing it's done properly.
    Education - Argee with the voucher system, disagree with the abolition of SATS.
    CCTV - Disagree with the reduction.
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    My ministers desire a government that will ensure safety from hostile powers, and a government that will ensure that no stone is left unturned to allow our nation to grow without fear; without worry and with certainty as we look towards new horizons.

    For the safety and freedom of the public, as well as ensuring confidence in our justice system , my ministers will review the current prevalence of CCTV within certain areas, and will seek to abolish the requirement for such areas to have them installed. No citizen should have to fear unnecessary surveillance where they have nothing to hide.

    With regards to the prison system, a clearer focus on rehabilitation is needed. To help prisoners back into society, this government shall endeavour to allow for more opportunities for them, helping them contribute to a more prosperous United Kingdom in a way which is not to the detriment of our own law abiding citizens. As such, this government is dedicated to improving the underlying social aspects that cause prisoners to reoffend. There are indications that confidence in our justice system is withering, therefore my ministers will restore faith in it by implementing policies such as ensuring that the divorce system favours neither spouse, and indeed that there will be no need to place blame upon a party for the breakdown of the marriage in order to have sufficient grounds for a divorce. Following on from that, my government pledges to review the issues surrounding rape cases which have recently made headlines, and will be committed to making the necessary changes to restore the faith of British citizens in the criminal justice system.

    It shall be the goal of this government to legalise Class A drugs completely, for both social and economic benefit. Drug users will no longer be isolated because of their addiction and the taxes paid on drugs shall be put towards the rehabilitation of addicts as an investment.
    The Government claims that it "will ensure safety from hostile powers" but the proposal to remove CCTV based on the argument that "no citizen should have to fear unnecessary surveillance" is completely absurd. This is only going to do the complete opposite of what the Government hopes to achieve by increasing crimes and decreasing public safety significantly.

    Reforms to prison system is interesting but this paragraph is really vague because it barely explains how the Government will tackle this issue, it only says that they would review the current criminal justice system.

    The idea to legalise Class A drugs is something I disagree with bitterly and I'm surprised that regulation hasn't come up once in these two sentences which is worrying. The only way I see this working is if we heavily regulate the sale of Class A drugs like alcohol and tobacco products.

    Health is a diverse issue within our nation, and this government recognises that there has been failure to bring our National Health Service - a service that once prided itself on excellence in the past - into modern times. For too long have citizens endured overcrowding, causing long waiting times to receive beneficial treatment, and for too long deaths which could easily have been stopped, were not. The only solution proposed in the past was to invest more into the service without reward - this government vows to end that and provide a real solution to the problem.The introduction of a NHIS based scheme would bridge the gap between national and private healthcare, where no citizen will be afraid to lose out on healthcare based on their income, wealth or social class. The government believes that healthcare is a service that is available to all, but to ensure this quality system there must be an increased choice of private healthcare providers, and that their choice can be reimbursed by authorities. This policy on healthcare, my government believes, will propel our nation as a beacon of grandeur and equality of opportunity.
    This is something that I personally agree with but what will the Education and Health secretaries do to improve the provision for mental health treatment?

    Defence is a key aspect for the safety of our nation, and thus, my government will commit themselves to the NATO 2% defence budget. The United Kingdom, as a global nation, will be committed to helping our allies and preserving peace on a global scale against those with malicious intent, those desiring to upset the current balance, and those who wish to bring harm to our nation or its citizens. My government will not be held back in those regards; they will pursue diplomacy, and if necessary intervention, in order to maintain what is right in the world. Furthermore, my ministers believe that the British Peace Corps have served its purpose and will issue a timeline of withdrawal from their stationed points; after reviewing its current status it is clear that it has contributed all it can to the world. For a more global United Kingdom, my government believes this to be the appropriate course of action.
    Good to see that the government is committing to the 2% defence budget target set by NATO but really limited policies otherwise, similar to Health.


    My government believes that education change is paramount to a more equal and prosperous United Kingdom. Therefore, my ministers will seek to introduce an education-voucher based scheme, to allow for more choice for parents and children transitioning into secondary education. For too long families have been restricted to where they could progress to due to social and economic backgrounds. To maximise this freedom, we seek to abolish SATs at the end of year 6 as a mandatory examination. Additionally, alongside grammar reforms we will seek to abolish the 11+ in favour of allowing different organisations to hold exams for selective admissions, as with exams taken later on in the education system. This government believes this will remove the stigma regarding the end of year 6 and at the same time, exchange the 11+ for an exam based on merit and will thus test knowledge based on the national curriculum up to the end of year 5. This will put our children in a position which maximises their choice and potential, no longer being dependent on their social background for success. A grant for more grammar schools within areas devoid of such institutions will facilitate this increase of freedom of choice, without the need of artificial management of intake through suggested quotas. My government will also seek to extend free school meals as a choice to all primary school children to ensure no child is left without receiving a balanced lunch at school. As for post-sixteen education, my government would advise an expansion of T-Levels so that there is the freedom of both practical and academic courses which will lend itself well to a growing apprenticeship choice. Finally, my government sees the general cap of '9250 as unnecessary and that it harms both universities and students alike. Therefore, the policy of removing this limit will be pursued, allowing for greater freedom for universities to charge what is required for their courses and to reach out to prospective students, encouraging greater competition between different establishments.
    Can the government explain exactly how the "education-voucher based scheme" will benefit parents and children transitioning into secondary education and allow more choice?


    My government recognises that to truly become a nation of the 21st century, free trade must be defended and excessive regulation only serves to harm our own prosperity. Therefore, it is my government's policy to promote free trade and to champion the prosperity of medium and small businesses during this time, to ensure this period is not marked by the everyman being left behind. My ministers are committed to seeing that this prosperity continues into our own infrastructure, and thus sees it as a necessity to continue nuclear fusion commitments and to look into the expansion of nuclear power stations as a stepping stone towards renewables.This government therefore sees this as a policy that goes hand in hand with the gradual phasing out of petrol and diesel cars to ensure that we move towards a purely electric transport system. My government also sees the need to increase funding to MAGLEV transport and will be seeking to work on an international level to ensure the efficiency of such an expensive system when the time comes.
    It is deeply worrying that the Liberal Party who proposes to ensure that the UK runs on renewable energy by 2035 is now turning their back on this to support nuclear power instead with the Hinkley Point project. It is interesting to see that the government proposed to increase funding to MAGLEV transport to retrofit existing vehicles to electric operation but it this the only firm that the government can work with to achieve a "purely electric transport system"? Can't they work with bus and car manufacturers alike?

    (CC: CoffeeGeek)
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    (Original post by Hazzer1998)
    Theres a lot more polices here that i agree with than i thought i would.

    Healhcare - I think a NHIS is a good compromise as there is no mandate for privatisation in the house.
    Defence - Good commitment to 2% but it's a baseline not a ceiling, defence spending should be increased to at least 2.5% then 3% when fiscal conditions allow.
    Taxation - I agree with merging Income and NI, I could get behind a NIT providing it's done properly.
    Education - Argee with the voucher system, disagree with the abolition of SATS.
    CCTV - Disagree with the reduction.
    With SATs I know it’s not a popular set of tests, but the compromise given is that they replace the current 11+ in terms of an administered test -though still called the 11+- instead ( I should clarify to CoffeeGeek that I particularly don’t find the verbal and non verbal reasoning components to be particularly useful in determining ability, I can at least be sure SATs can, and this way there is quality assurance in my opinion). I think the SATs at the end of year 6 anyway are pointlessly stressful for an already stressful period for children.

    CoffeeAndPolitics I intend for education vouchers to be enough to at least cover the cost of the pupil being admitted into a school, and it could be used to at least partially subsidise private school education, should parents choose that option. It means that parents feel less restricted about where they can apply for their children to transition to secondary schools and the fact quotas won’t be in place allows that possibility to exist (also ensuring that Proximity requirements aren’t a suggestion, or at least a more lax policy, for deciding whom may places go to helps here I’d believe)
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    Wait, is CaP a Tory now?

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    Response from the Leader of the Opposition
    Mr Speaker, I suppose I should start by thanking the Prime Minister for advance sight of his statement (yes, not normally the case in this place but it’s true) and by congratulating this new government for producing a statement that I could understand without any need for codes, ciphers, Google Translate, or actually using my degree. That in itself is promising by recent standards.

    I will begin by turning to the policies given on taxation, following on from my comments in Prime Minister’s Questions. I should start by welcoming the commitment to reduce the rate of VAT. Reducing VAT from 20% to 17.5% was a Labour manifesto pledge, and I hope that we can build a majority in the House that favours making that change. I look with a more sceptical eye at the promise of merging income tax and National Insurance contributions, and hope that the Prime Minister does not get swayed by his coalition partners here and allow the merger of the two taxes to allow for any meaningful reduction in the tax take and therefore the amount available to spend. Much the same applies to the proposal of a negative income tax. This is not an objectionable policy per se, but should not be used as an excuse to lower living standards of the working or out-of-work poor or make them poorer still. One thing is certain – the Prime Minister’s new-found spine is going to be well and truly put to the test.

    On home affairs there is some fairly uncontroversial stuff on rehabilitation and no-fault divorces, and then this government’s worst-kept secret of all. Admittedly legalisation of Class A drugs is a policy that divides the Labour Party. I look forward to seeing the legislation the government intends to put down on the topic, because the devil here almost certainly lies in the detail and the implementation. We now come to my opportunity to present the Prime Minister with his free gift (*tosses a tin foil hat across the despatch box*), because the policy on CCTV seems to be based on little more than anti-state paranoia. CCTV are a key weapon in our fight against crime, and it is the freedom to commit crime that the government is protecting here – what happens in public is by definition public.

    I do listen with concern to the Prime Minister’s description of NHS investment as being ‘without reward’. Labour’s legacy has always been increased investment in the National Health Service, and better outcomes to show for it. If those lives being extended and saved constitute investment ‘without reward’, then I have serious concerns about this government’s stewardship of the NHS. We were also promised a healthcare system ‘where no citizen will be afraid to lose out on healthcare based on their income, wealth or social class’. I regret to inform the Prime Minister that Aneurin Bevan beat him to it, by about seventy years. The Prime Minister has brought to the House a set of proposals that serve to do little more than undermine that system.

    On the contrary I do welcome the government’s commitment to continue to meet the NATO 2% target for defence spending. I do however question the commitments made on international development, of which there were noticeably few and those made were destructive rather than constructive in nature. I hope the Prime Minister will seek to rectify that at the earliest convenience and affirm his government’s commitment to the UN 0.7% target for international aid spending. Labour will also be opposing any attempt to abolish the British Peace Corps. We hotly contest any claim that it has reached the end of its useful life, which provides huge benefits both to our own citizens who are involved in it and to those in other countries who benefit from the excellent work done by the Peace Corps, including the action the House recently supported in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

    Education gets an unsurprisingly large amount of airtime, and I will jump straight in with the education vouchers. The actual purpose of these was not made explicitly clear, however I might hazard a guess that what is being proposed is a scheme to encourage the uptake of private education in middle England. This would be wholly unnecessary if the government instead focused their education on providing a good-quality comprehensive state education for all children. What has been brought to the House instead is carte blanche for those who wish to only worsen the quality of the state education system or abolish it altogether.

    I do welcome the commitment made to bring SATs testing to an end – another policy from Labour’s manifesto and one we will gladly support, as we will the commitment for free school lunches in primary schools. It is however deeply regrettable that the stresses on primary education are not going to be lifted, because the government has chosen to maintain grammar schools. In doing so the government has shown it has no interest in the education being a system that serves all our children – instead they only focus on the brighter children, perhaps those who are more likely to be found in this House, and are happy for the rest to receive dregs in sink secondary moderns. It is quite clear that only Labour will provide every single child with a good-quality comprehensive school place. I am somewhat puzzled also by the comments on the 11+, which the Prime Minister seems to think is a standardised national examination. To my knowledge this is not the case, rather it is set at school or LEA level.

    We then come to the thorny topic of tuition fees. Whilst some in my party may disagree, I do support the principle that those who benefit from a university education should contribute to the costs, rather than expecting those who are not able to attend to share the burden. Particularly in the climate of severe misinformation about the nature of student debt, I do find it incredibly misguided to propose variable fees. I know that the material financial effect of a higher-fee course is fairly small, especially at the time a student undertakes it, as I’m sure does the Prime Minister, but we should not trust that that detail is appreciated by all. I am deeply concerned that variable fees would lead to young people from lower-income families being dissuaded from taking the course that they want to take, or that which is most appropriate for them.

    Finally I will address the policies from the various other departments, and I note the government’s commitment to both free trade and support for SMEs. I am interested to see how the Prime Minister intends to balance the two, because I’m sure he will recognise that freer trade is not always a benefit to SMEs, but can in some cases and in some sectors be a disadvantage and lead to them being priced out of markets. I do welcome the announcements related to renewable and nuclear energy. With my typical rural affairs hat on, I am interested to see whether the government brings forward any proposals to specifically help rural and isolated areas with the transition towards the purely electric transport system that it favours. I will approach maglev trains with a healthy scepticism, as I think we need to be clear that such a change would be a genuine and significant improvement, rather than a vanity project or an expensive gimmick.

    Finally I do welcome the fact that the government has matched Labour’s commitment to end TV licence payments for students. I might hope that they take some interest in my proposal to convert it to a universal household levy, but that might well be too much to ask.

    So in conclusion, Mr Speaker, this government’s success or failure will be measured more or less by how much of a mess is left for Labour to clear up next term. We will not be a rubber stamp for the government’s policies, and the Prime Minister can expect to face a great deal of criticism from these benches, but we will be a pragmatic and a listening opposition too – one that is willing to engage with the government where we do have mutual interests.
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    (Original post by Saracen's Fez)
    Response from the Leader of the Opposition
    Mr Speaker, I suppose I should start by thanking the Prime Minister for advance sight of his statement (yes, not normally the case in this place but it’s true) and by congratulating this new government for producing a statement that I could understand without any need for codes, ciphers, Google Translate, or actually using my degree. That in itself is promising by recent standards.

    Education gets an unsurprisingly large amount of airtime, and I will jump straight in with the education vouchers. The actual purpose of these was not made explicitly clear, however I might hazard a guess that what is being proposed is a scheme to encourage the uptake of private education in middle England. This would be wholly unnecessary if the government instead focused their education on providing a good-quality comprehensive state education for all children. What has been brought to the House instead is carte blanche for those who wish to only worsen the quality of the state education system or abolish it altogether.

    I do welcome the commitment made to bring SATs testing to an end – another policy from Labour’s manifesto and one we will gladly support, as we will the commitment for free school lunches in primary schools. It is however deeply regrettable that the stresses on primary education are not going to be lifted, because the government has chosen to maintain grammar schools. In doing so the government has shown it has no interest in the education being a system that serves all our children – instead they only focus on the brighter children, perhaps those who are more likely to be found in this House, and are happy for the rest to receive dregs in sink secondary moderns. It is quite clear that only Labour will provide every single child with a good-quality comprehensive school place. I am somewhat puzzled also by the comments on the 11+, which the Prime Minister seems to think is a standardised national examination. To my knowledge this is not the case, rather it is set at school or LEA level.

    We then come to the thorny topic of tuition fees. Whilst some in my party may disagree, I do support the principle that those who benefit from a university education should contribute to the costs, rather than expecting those who are not able to attend to share the burden. Particularly in the climate of severe misinformation about the nature of student debt, I do find it incredibly misguided to propose variable fees. I know that the material financial effect of a higher-fee course is fairly small, especially at the time a student undertakes it, as I’m sure does the Prime Minister, but we should not trust that that detail is appreciated by all. I am deeply concerned that variable fees would lead to young people from lower-income families being dissuaded from taking the course that they want to take, or that which is most appropriate for them.

    So in conclusion, Mr Speaker, this government’s success or failure will be measured more or less by how much of a mess is left for Labour to clear up next term. We will not be a rubber stamp for the government’s policies, and the Prime Minister can expect to face a great deal of criticism from these benches, but we will be a pragmatic and a listening opposition too – one that is willing to engage with the government where we do have mutual interests.
    I might as well tackle these extracts of the speech since it’s my department. Firstly I thank the Rt. Honourable member for his comments on the wording. Let’s say I took care with my section’s wording (though I’m surprised no one has picked up on my love of long sentences)
    I don’t believe it’s fair to call our education voucher carte blanche. Yes it does present schools with good amount of selection power but it also empowers the parents I think. Ideally the vouchers would be able to cover the costs of attending the state and grammars, whilst partially subsidising private schools. This in my mind doesn’t affect the public sector as the choice remains there and the funds available to the school are still there: it’s just it ensures funding per pupil follows them and encourages responsible utilisation on the school’s behalf and allowing for the inert competition between schools to flourish in that sense.
    I thank the leader of the opposition for his comments on SATs, it reaffirms this is a policy with cross party support. As for free school meals I’m sure the very party I’m from would tell you my thoughts on it but I’ll leave that speculation to you.
    As for grammars, I should make it clear from the get go that I’ll never consider abolishing grammars ( indeed going to a grammar school myself influences me there) I’m well aware that the 11+ is administered locally though the policy does suggest that a more sats like set of admissions will become available to various groups of grammars so that freedom can easily made, as well as judge admissions more on their individual merit. The grammar expansion would indeed provide choice because there are many, in fact too many, pupils across the country without the option of grammars. I had felt quite restricted with public school opinions and I believe everyone should have that choice available to them.
    I feel like students are already disillusioned about university because of the reasons you’ve stated and thus having a better idea their degree actually costs would go a long way. I’d certainly won’t advocate for removing of loans, to ensure this is still accessible but this will encourage competition between establishments and the price and satisfaction will definitely play a part in which university is best suited for them. I thank for you sharing the view of tuition fees .
    The critic was fun to read (even if I’m beginning to fall asleep)
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    (Original post by CountBrandenburg)
    I might as well tackle these extracts of the speech since it’s my department. Firstly I thank the Rt. Honourable member for his comments on the wording. Let’s say I took care with my section’s wording (though I’m surprised no one has picked up on my love of long sentences)
    I don’t believe it’s fair to call our education voucher carte blanche. Yes it does present schools with good amount of selection power but it also empowers the parents I think. Ideally the vouchers would be able to cover the costs of attending the state and grammars, whilst partially subsidising private schools. This in my mind doesn’t affect the public sector as the choice remains there and the funds available to the school are still there: it’s just it ensures funding per pupil follows them and encourages responsible utilisation on the school’s behalf and allowing for the inert competition between schools to flourish in that sense.
    I thank the leader of the opposition for his comments on SATs, it reaffirms this is a policy with cross party support. As for free school meals I’m sure the very party I’m from would tell you my thoughts on it but I’ll leave that speculation to you.
    As for grammars, I should make it clear from the get go that I’ll never consider abolishing grammars ( indeed going to a grammar school myself influences me there) I’m well aware that the 11+ is administered locally though the policy does suggest that a more sats like set of admissions will become available to various groups of grammars so that freedom can easily made, as well as judge admissions more on their individual merit. The grammar expansion would indeed provide choice because there are many, in fact too many, pupils across the country without the option of grammars. I had felt quite restricted with public school opinions and I believe everyone should have that choice available to them.
    I feel like students are already disillusioned about university because of the reasons you’ve stated and thus having a better idea their degree actually costs would go a long way. I’d certainly won’t advocate for removing of loans, to ensure this is still accessible but this will encourage competition between establishments and the price and satisfaction will definitely play a part in which university is best suited for them. I thank for you sharing the view of tuition fees .
    The critic was fun to read (even if I’m beginning to fall asleep)
    My concern with the education voucher system is that it will come to provide an excuse for LEAs not to bother to raise standards, with the excuse that private education is more accessible and if parents or pupils are unhappy with the state options that is the option they ought to take. I note with interest the phrase 'able to cover the costs of attending the state and grammar' – obviously grammar schools are a form of state school, and all forms of state school are free at the point of use. I do hope that the government will seek to clarify that point and in particular make clear that they intend to keep state schools free at the point of use, rather than introducing any fees, even ones that a voucher system would cover.

    As someone who proudly went to a comprehensive and went on from there to Oxbridge, I feel equally passionately that a comprehensive system is the best way to provide good-quality education to all on an equal footing, and see absolutely no good reason to offer the choice of grammar schools, and expect this to remain a sticking point during the term of this government and beyond.

    There is a need for better information about the nature of student debt, and I hope the Secretary of State does consider what can be done there as he starts work. I do continue to have severe reservations about variable fees, and am concerned that the government supports prospective students using price as a criterion when choosing a university course. One of the great benefits of having a cap on fees (and an expectation from government side that the full amount will be charged) is that prospective students choose courses and universities based on suitability, interest and the facilities available in and around the university (in other words, based on what would be in their interest academically and socially), rather than their financial interest.
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    (Original post by Saracen's Fez)
    Response from the Leader of the Opposition
    Mr Speaker, I suppose I should start by thanking the Prime Minister for advance sight of his statement (yes, not normally the case in this place but it’s true) and by congratulating this new government for producing a statement that I could understand without any need for codes, ciphers, Google Translate, or actually using my degree. That in itself is promising by recent standards.

    I will begin by turning to the policies given on taxation, following on from my comments in Prime Minister’s Questions. I should start by welcoming the commitment to reduce the rate of VAT. Reducing VAT from 20% to 17.5% was a Labour manifesto pledge, and I hope that we can build a majority in the House that favours making that change. I look with a more sceptical eye at the promise of merging income tax and National Insurance contributions, and hope that the Prime Minister does not get swayed by his coalition partners here and allow the merger of the two taxes to allow for any meaningful reduction in the tax take and therefore the amount available to spend. Much the same applies to the proposal of a negative income tax. This is not an objectionable policy per se, but should not be used as an excuse to lower living standards of the working or out-of-work poor or make them poorer still. One thing is certain – the Prime Minister’s new-found spine is going to be well and truly put to the test.

    On home affairs there is some fairly uncontroversial stuff on rehabilitation and no-fault divorces, and then this government’s worst-kept secret of all. Admittedly legalisation of Class A drugs is a policy that divides the Labour Party. I look forward to seeing the legislation the government intends to put down on the topic, because the devil here almost certainly lies in the detail and the implementation. We now come to my opportunity to present the Prime Minister with his free gift (*tosses a tin foil hat across the despatch box*), because the policy on CCTV seems to be based on little more than anti-state paranoia. CCTV are a key weapon in our fight against crime, and it is the freedom to commit crime that the government is protecting here – what happens in public is by definition public.

    I do listen with concern to the Prime Minister’s description of NHS investment as being ‘without reward’. Labour’s legacy has always been increased investment in the National Health Service, and better outcomes to show for it. If those lives being extended and saved constitute investment ‘without reward’, then I have serious concerns about this government’s stewardship of the NHS. We were also promised a healthcare system ‘where no citizen will be afraid to lose out on healthcare based on their income, wealth or social class’. I regret to inform the Prime Minister that Aneurin Bevan beat him to it, by about seventy years. The Prime Minister has brought to the House a set of proposals that serve to do little more than undermine that system.

    On the contrary I do welcome the government’s commitment to continue to meet the NATO 2% target for defence spending. I do however question the commitments made on international development, of which there were noticeably few and those made were destructive rather than constructive in nature. I hope the Prime Minister will seek to rectify that at the earliest convenience and affirm his government’s commitment to the UN 0.7% target for international aid spending. Labour will also be opposing any attempt to abolish the British Peace Corps. We hotly contest any claim that it has reached the end of its useful life, which provides huge benefits both to our own citizens who are involved in it and to those in other countries who benefit from the excellent work done by the Peace Corps, including the action the House recently supported in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

    Education gets an unsurprisingly large amount of airtime, and I will jump straight in with the education vouchers. The actual purpose of these was not made explicitly clear, however I might hazard a guess that what is being proposed is a scheme to encourage the uptake of private education in middle England. This would be wholly unnecessary if the government instead focused their education on providing a good-quality comprehensive state education for all children. What has been brought to the House instead is carte blanche for those who wish to only worsen the quality of the state education system or abolish it altogether.

    I do welcome the commitment made to bring SATs testing to an end – another policy from Labour’s manifesto and one we will gladly support, as we will the commitment for free school lunches in primary schools. It is however deeply regrettable that the stresses on primary education are not going to be lifted, because the government has chosen to maintain grammar schools. In doing so the government has shown it has no interest in the education being a system that serves all our children – instead they only focus on the brighter children, perhaps those who are more likely to be found in this House, and are happy for the rest to receive dregs in sink secondary moderns. It is quite clear that only Labour will provide every single child with a good-quality comprehensive school place. I am somewhat puzzled also by the comments on the 11+, which the Prime Minister seems to think is a standardised national examination. To my knowledge this is not the case, rather it is set at school or LEA level.

    We then come to the thorny topic of tuition fees. Whilst some in my party may disagree, I do support the principle that those who benefit from a university education should contribute to the costs, rather than expecting those who are not able to attend to share the burden. Particularly in the climate of severe misinformation about the nature of student debt, I do find it incredibly misguided to propose variable fees. I know that the material financial effect of a higher-fee course is fairly small, especially at the time a student undertakes it, as I’m sure does the Prime Minister, but we should not trust that that detail is appreciated by all. I am deeply concerned that variable fees would lead to young people from lower-income families being dissuaded from taking the course that they want to take, or that which is most appropriate for them.

    Finally I will address the policies from the various other departments, and I note the government’s commitment to both free trade and support for SMEs. I am interested to see how the Prime Minister intends to balance the two, because I’m sure he will recognise that freer trade is not always a benefit to SMEs, but can in some cases and in some sectors be a disadvantage and lead to them being priced out of markets. I do welcome the announcements related to renewable and nuclear energy. With my typical rural affairs hat on, I am interested to see whether the government brings forward any proposals to specifically help rural and isolated areas with the transition towards the purely electric transport system that it favours. I will approach maglev trains with a healthy scepticism, as I think we need to be clear that such a change would be a genuine and significant improvement, rather than a vanity project or an expensive gimmick.

    Finally I do welcome the fact that the government has matched Labour’s commitment to end TV licence payments for students. I might hope that they take some interest in my proposal to convert it to a universal household levy, but that might well be too much to ask.

    So in conclusion, Mr Speaker, this government’s success or failure will be measured more or less by how much of a mess is left for Labour to clear up next term. We will not be a rubber stamp for the government’s policies, and the Prime Minister can expect to face a great deal of criticism from these benches, but we will be a pragmatic and a listening opposition too – one that is willing to engage with the government where we do have mutual interests.
    Mr Speaker,

    As Secretary of State for Defence,
    I feel obliged to respond to elements of the Leader of the Opposition’s statement.

    Firstly, I would like to thank the right honourable gentleman for backing the government’s continued commitment to the NATO defence spending target; it is important that all member states of NATO meet this target and pay their fair share towards continuing world peace.

    Regarding his comments on the British Peace Corps, does the Leader of the Opposition not believe that the United Nations and international charities already do a good job in distribution of international aid and assistance in peacekeeping in troubled regions?

    We must question whether or not our small island’s contributions in this manner are making a significant impact, or whether or not the Corps is simply a white elephant designed by members of the Labour Party in order to feel good about themselves and stoke the narcissistic side of their personalities.

    One must also sincerely question the wisdom in continuing to funnel funds and manpower to the Corps when we live in an increasingly volatile international environment as illustrated by the appalling attack in Salisbury last week (which, incidentally, the house can expect a joint statement on from myself and my colleague the Foreign Secretary in due course.)
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    (Original post by Connor27)
    Mr Speaker,

    As Secretary of State for Defence,
    I feel obliged to respond to elements of the Leader of the Opposition’s statement.

    Firstly, I would like to thank the right honourable gentleman for backing the government’s continued commitment to the NATO defence spending target; it is important that all member states of NATO meet this target and pay their fair share towards continuing world peace.

    Regarding his comments on the British Peace Corps, does the Leader of the Opposition not believe that the United Nations and international charities already do a good job in distribution of international aid and assistance in peacekeeping in troubled regions?

    We must question whether or not our small island’s contributions in this manner are making a significant impact, or whether or not the Corps is simply a white elephant designed by members of the Labour Party in order to feel good about themselves and stoke the narcissistic side of their personalities.

    One must also sincerely question the wisdom in continuing to funnel funds and manpower to the Corps when we live in an increasingly volatile international environment as illustrated by the appalling attack in Salisbury last week (which, incidentally, the house can expect a joint statement on from myself and my colleague the Foreign Secretary in due course.)
    I don't doubt that the UN, NGOs and charities do a good job of distributing aid and assistance, but I also feel that it is beneficial for the British state itself to take a key front-line role in international aid and development, as well as providing volunteering opportunities to Brits. The House has already given a vote of confidence to the British Peace Corps this term when it voted to deploy it in Myanmar and Bangladesh to support the Rohingya. There is no contradiction between a strong and effective international development policy headed up by the British Peace Corps and an equally strong and effective defence policy capable of dealing with all the potential threats Britain itself faces.
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    (Original post by Saracen's Fez)
    Response from the Leader of the Opposition
    Mr Speaker, I suppose I should start by thanking the Prime Minister for advance sight of his statement (yes, not normally the case in this place but it’s true) and by congratulating this new government for producing a statement that I could understand without any need for codes, ciphers, Google Translate, or actually using my degree. That in itself is promising by recent standards.

    I will begin by turning to the policies given on taxation, following on from my comments in Prime Minister’s Questions. I should start by welcoming the commitment to reduce the rate of VAT. Reducing VAT from 20% to 17.5% was a Labour manifesto pledge, and I hope that we can build a majority in the House that favours making that change. I look with a more sceptical eye at the promise of merging income tax and National Insurance contributions, and hope that the Prime Minister does not get swayed by his coalition partners here and allow the merger of the two taxes to allow for any meaningful reduction in the tax take and therefore the amount available to spend. Much the same applies to the proposal of a negative income tax. This is not an objectionable policy per se, but should not be used as an excuse to lower living standards of the working or out-of-work poor or make them poorer still. One thing is certain – the Prime Minister’s new-found spine is going to be well and truly put to the test.

    On home affairs there is some fairly uncontroversial stuff on rehabilitation and no-fault divorces, and then this government’s worst-kept secret of all. Admittedly legalisation of Class A drugs is a policy that divides the Labour Party. I look forward to seeing the legislation the government intends to put down on the topic, because the devil here almost certainly lies in the detail and the implementation. We now come to my opportunity to present the Prime Minister with his free gift (*tosses a tin foil hat across the despatch box*), because the policy on CCTV seems to be based on little more than anti-state paranoia. CCTV are a key weapon in our fight against crime, and it is the freedom to commit crime that the government is protecting here – what happens in public is by definition public.

    I do listen with concern to the Prime Minister’s description of NHS investment as being ‘without reward’. Labour’s legacy has always been increased investment in the National Health Service, and better outcomes to show for it. If those lives being extended and saved constitute investment ‘without reward’, then I have serious concerns about this government’s stewardship of the NHS. We were also promised a healthcare system ‘where no citizen will be afraid to lose out on healthcare based on their income, wealth or social class’. I regret to inform the Prime Minister that Aneurin Bevan beat him to it, by about seventy years. The Prime Minister has brought to the House a set of proposals that serve to do little more than undermine that system.

    On the contrary I do welcome the government’s commitment to continue to meet the NATO 2% target for defence spending. I do however question the commitments made on international development, of which there were noticeably few and those made were destructive rather than constructive in nature. I hope the Prime Minister will seek to rectify that at the earliest convenience and affirm his government’s commitment to the UN 0.7% target for international aid spending. Labour will also be opposing any attempt to abolish the British Peace Corps. We hotly contest any claim that it has reached the end of its useful life, which provides huge benefits both to our own citizens who are involved in it and to those in other countries who benefit from the excellent work done by the Peace Corps, including the action the House recently supported in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

    Education gets an unsurprisingly large amount of airtime, and I will jump straight in with the education vouchers. The actual purpose of these was not made explicitly clear, however I might hazard a guess that what is being proposed is a scheme to encourage the uptake of private education in middle England. This would be wholly unnecessary if the government instead focused their education on providing a good-quality comprehensive state education for all children. What has been brought to the House instead is carte blanche for those who wish to only worsen the quality of the state education system or abolish it altogether.

    I do welcome the commitment made to bring SATs testing to an end – another policy from Labour’s manifesto and one we will gladly support, as we will the commitment for free school lunches in primary schools. It is however deeply regrettable that the stresses on primary education are not going to be lifted, because the government has chosen to maintain grammar schools. In doing so the government has shown it has no interest in the education being a system that serves all our children – instead they only focus on the brighter children, perhaps those who are more likely to be found in this House, and are happy for the rest to receive dregs in sink secondary moderns. It is quite clear that only Labour will provide every single child with a good-quality comprehensive school place. I am somewhat puzzled also by the comments on the 11+, which the Prime Minister seems to think is a standardised national examination. To my knowledge this is not the case, rather it is set at school or LEA level.

    We then come to the thorny topic of tuition fees. Whilst some in my party may disagree, I do support the principle that those who benefit from a university education should contribute to the costs, rather than expecting those who are not able to attend to share the burden. Particularly in the climate of severe misinformation about the nature of student debt, I do find it incredibly misguided to propose variable fees. I know that the material financial effect of a higher-fee course is fairly small, especially at the time a student undertakes it, as I’m sure does the Prime Minister, but we should not trust that that detail is appreciated by all. I am deeply concerned that variable fees would lead to young people from lower-income families being dissuaded from taking the course that they want to take, or that which is most appropriate for them.

    Finally I will address the policies from the various other departments, and I note the government’s commitment to both free trade and support for SMEs. I am interested to see how the Prime Minister intends to balance the two, because I’m sure he will recognise that freer trade is not always a benefit to SMEs, but can in some cases and in some sectors be a disadvantage and lead to them being priced out of markets. I do welcome the announcements related to renewable and nuclear energy. With my typical rural affairs hat on, I am interested to see whether the government brings forward any proposals to specifically help rural and isolated areas with the transition towards the purely electric transport system that it favours. I will approach maglev trains with a healthy scepticism, as I think we need to be clear that such a change would be a genuine and significant improvement, rather than a vanity project or an expensive gimmick.

    Finally I do welcome the fact that the government has matched Labour’s commitment to end TV licence payments for students. I might hope that they take some interest in my proposal to convert it to a universal household levy, but that might well be too much to ask.

    So in conclusion, Mr Speaker, this government’s success or failure will be measured more or less by how much of a mess is left for Labour to clear up next term. We will not be a rubber stamp for the government’s policies, and the Prime Minister can expect to face a great deal of criticism from these benches, but we will be a pragmatic and a listening opposition too – one that is willing to engage with the government where we do have mutual interests.
    I thank the Right Honourable Gentleman for his response.

    I can assure members on the benches opposite that our policies on Tax will not be used help the most vulnerable, not make them worse-off. I understand that with the NIT, the detail is in how it is implemented, so I look forward to discussing this with the Right Honourable Gentleman at a later date. Whilst it is true that both coalition parties desire to reduce taxation, we accept that this is not always possible. Other than VAT, we will only be reducing taxes if we are in a strong enough economic position to do so - fiscal responsibility is one of our priorities.

    Moving on to Home Affairs and Class A Drugs. As the Leader of the Opposition rightly states, this policy will pass or fail depending on how well the policy is implemented. I also reject the idea that decreasing the number of CCTV cameras is little more than anti-state paranoia. As I've explained to the Leader of the Conservative Party, we believe that there is an unnecessarily high amount of CCTV cameras (my example being the Borough of Wandsworth having more CCTV cameras than Boston, Johannesburg and Dublin combined) and we would simply seek to scrap excess whilst ensuring the public remain safe, which is absolutely paramount.

    On Health, I urge the Right Honourable Gentleman to read the Liberal Party Manifesto section on the NHIS (page 9), as I truly believe this is a pragmatic approach to reduce the burden on the NHS, decrease waiting times and improve healthcare for all.

    Skipping Defence and most of Education as the relevant Ministers have already replied. One thing to note on Tuition Fees is that we control the rhetoric, and if we make the system clear to students, they will not be put off.

    We recognise sometimes it can be difficult to balance free trade with the needs of SMEs, but I trust in the Chancellor and the Business Secretary to ensure that the needs of SMEs are met, whilst being committed to promoting free trade.

    I am happy to hear the Right Honourable Gentleman out on a universal household levy for the license fee, but I cannot guarantee any action other than what we have committed to in the Queen's Speech.

    I'd finally again like to thank the Leader of the Opposition for providing a concise response to the policies laid out. I hope we can work together on the things we do agree on, and I hope I can convince you on the things that you do not yet support.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Going for a token gesture of the TV licence
    The Culture Media and Sport dept. has always been a token gesture on TSR really.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Wait, is CaP a Tory now?

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Ask him. Not sure he is in the TSR party. Personally he might be.
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    (Original post by Taz554:-))
    im not gonna lie, i actually thought u were talking about Lady Leshurr Queens Speech lollll
    Afraid not.:nah: This is the Model House of Commons.
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