Magazine article Public Finance

Brown's Queen's Speech Preview Seeks to Reform and Reassure

Magazine article Public Finance

Brown's Queen's Speech Preview Seeks to Reform and Reassure

Article excerpt

Gordon Brown has set cart a draft legislative programme combining a new «ave of public service iefuiiiis with measures aimed at reassuring the public that they will be shielded from the worst of the economic downturn.

The prime minister, in Ms preview of the Queen's Speech on May 14, promised a tough Welfare Reform Bill - 'emphasising obligations as well as rights' that wouM force unemployed people to have their skills assessed 'and to acquire skills'.

He also signalled a continuation of the Blairite agenda in the NHS and education. An NHS Reform Bill will adjust hospital funding to reflect patient satisfaction (see page 8).

New legislation will also give ministers reserve powers to ensure local authorities intervene in underperforming schools and give parents greater powers to hold schools accountable and to say whether new schools are needed locally.

A Community Empowerment, Housing and Economic Regeneration Bill is also pitched at increasing the public's say in shaping local services, while an Equality Bill will compel public bodies to consider the diverse needs of service users and staff. …

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