Monday 30 July 2007

Government priorities for the coming year

The Government has unveiled its draft legislative programme for the forthcoming parliamentary session, which will be confirmed (or not!) in the Queen's speech in early November. Details of the proposals can be found here:

Some major themes in there, including housing and regeneration, local transport, pensions, constitutional reform, energy, the environment... And even the more obscure-sounding ones are interesting; the Unclaimed Assets Bill, for example, was somethign we looked at when I was on the Treasury Select Committee. It means that the millions of pounds lying unclaimed in dormant bank accounts will be used to fund additional youth services, financial capability and inclusion programmes, and for social investment. Ireland have had a similar scheme for years, which the Select Committee looked at when it visited Dublin earlier this year (without me, unfortunately - it clashed with other parliamentary commitments).

Sadly, it seems that the Marine Bill has yet again been missed off the parliamentary timetable; we've been told in the past that this is because Defra already have enough on their plate with the Climate Change Bill, which will obviously be major piece of legislation and is already being considered in draft by a special Commons committee.