Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Queen's Speech Omits Key Manifesto Pledges

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Queen's Speech Omits Key Manifesto Pledges

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Walker Political Editor jon.walker@trinitymirror.com jonwalker121

THERESA May tore up much of the Conservative manifesto to deliver a legislative timetable for the next two years dominated by preparations for Brexit.

Of 27 bills and draft bills unveiled in her first Queen's Speech yesterday, eight are devoted to the complex process of withdrawal from the EU, including a Repeal Bill to overturn the 1972 Act which took Britain into the European Economic Community.

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire and a string of terror attacks, the Prime Minister also announced plans for a civil disaster taskforce and a new commission for countering extremism, as well as a review of counter-terror strategy and the creation of an independent public advocate for bereaved families.

But flagship manifesto policies which find no place in the Government agenda included the scrapping of universal free school lunches, means-testing of the winter fuel payment and the reform of social care funding which opponents branded a dementia tax. There was no mention, either, of the promised free vote on fox hunting.

Speculation that Donald Trump's state visit to the UK may be ditched was fuelled by its absence from the address. But Downing Street said that the invitation to Mr Trump stands, with a date yet to be fixed.

Also unveiled were bills to extend the HS2 high-speed rail link to Crewe, permit the development of driverless cars and commercial satellites, cut whiplash insurance claims, protect domestic abuse victims and ban letting fees for private rented homes.

Policies that were in the manifesto and have now been abandoned following the election result include: The 'dementia tax' The manifesto said "the value of the family home will be taken into account" when determining whether people receiving social care at home have to pay for their care. In practice, this would mean people with properties might be forced to sell them, although the sale might be delayed until after they die.

But the Queen's Speech simply says the Government "will consult on options" about how to pay for social care. …

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