Scottish Government
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Queen's Speech

Final speech ahead of the referendum.

Minister for Parliamentary Business Joe FitzPatrick has commented on the Queen’s Speech which outlines the UK Government's legislative programme for 2014/15.

Mr FitzPatrick said:

“This final Queen’s Speech, ahead of the referendum, underlines the growing divergence between the path of the UK Government and that of Scotland. Our focus is rightly on measures to improve childcare for every family, boost jobs and businesses and implement a fairer welfare system for everyone in Scotland.

“Once again, we are seeing UK Government policies that are skewed to help those that are better off, leaving the poorest families struggling to make ends meet. Westminster’s proposal on childcare is designed to save the best-off families up to £2,000 a year; this is in stark contrast with our universal plans under independence, which would deliver 1,140 hours of funded childcare for every family with a pre-school child aged one to five in Scotland, saving families up to £4,600 per child, per annum.

“The UK’s plan will save wealthier families the most since they currently spend the most on childcare and will be more likely to receive the maximum rebate possible under the scheme. Whereas our priority is to help workless households and those working families most struggling to make ends meet, to reach those most economically disadvantaged and provide routes out of poverty.

“We are acting now to deliver more free childcare for all three and four year olds and extend provision to vulnerable two-year olds from August this year – giving parents additional support when they are looking for employment and maintaining that support when they are successful.

“This Queen’s Speech shows the very clear contrasting position between our two governments and once again sets us apart on the values of fairness, equality and building a better society for everyone who lives and works here.

“Her Majesty’s Scottish Government will continue to make the case for an independent Scotland, with Her Majesty as head of state. With the full powers of independence we can deliver real gains for families, businesses and those who are most in need of transformational policies that can improve people’s lives.

“Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, more prosperous per head than France, Japan or the UK – but for too many people in Scotland it doesn’t feel that way, and we need the powers of independence to help build a fairer society.

"Our commitment to building a fairer and wealthier country can only be achieved with full powers over tax and spending. With independence we will abolish the Bedroom Tax and halt further rollout of Universal Credit and the Personal Independence Payment to create a fairer welfare system.

“And for the two bills which require Scottish Parliament approval, the Scottish Government will table Legislative Consent Motions for the parliament to decide upon. It will then be for the Scottish Parliament to determine matters on the basis of its democratic mandate.”

Notes To Editors

Details of The Queen’s Speech are available from the UK Government, accessible via the following link at-it-means-for-you

The UK bills which the Scottish Government currently expects to give rise to Legislative Consent Motions in the Scottish Parliament are:

Serious Crime Bill – a Bill which aims to address serious and organised crime which mainly extends to England and Wales but on introduction we expect that it will require legislative consent for amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002; reform of serious crime prevention orders; the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and, the closing of a legislative loophole around Female Genital Mutilation legislation.

Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill  a Bill which aims to remove what are regarded as unnecessary impediments to business and includes a range of measures aimed at promoting economic growth. 

It is possible that further opportunities to legislate for Scotland by means of Legislative Consent Motion may occur in connection with other UK bills, including Private Member’s bills. Any additional proposals of this kind, together with any relevant amendments to the Government bills listed above, will be drawn to the attention of the Parliament as they arise, in line with the requirements of Standing Orders.

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