As proposer of last year's Humble Address I was lucky enough to get advanced notice of the speech's contents. But this year, with one of my constituency neighbours in the form of the excellent Peter Luff taking on that role, I heard the Government's legislative agenda for the first time as her Majesty spoke, just as any member of the public did.
For me it was a speech that showed that after three years in coalition our resolve to do what is right for this country has not left us, and whilst a Queen's Speech is not the place for economic and fiscal policy, it also showed that we are still committed to our central task. We came together in the national interest to repair the damage the Labour government did to our economy and get our country back on track and we maintain that as our central focus.
We know that Britain can be great again, why? Because we have the people to do it. That's why this Queen's speech was all about showing those who work hard and want to get on in life that we're there for them. From introducing new powers to tackle the scourge of Anti-Social behaviour through to tackling care costs and introducing a simpler single tier pension, dealing with immigration and modernising consumer rights, the next legislative session will deliver for the people of Britain.
For me, and my constituents further work and legislation on immigration that will build on the work already done to reduce immigration by a third is extremely welcome.
People are rightly concerned about the impact of immigration on their lives. Whilst they think it's right that we attract the best of the world's talent, be they students, business people or entrepreneurs, I firmly believe that the people of Britain, native and immigrant alike, agree that its right that we ensure that people who come here add to our national life and don't simply take from it.
That's why it's right to regulate free access to the NHS to only those that are entitled, to ensure that private rented housing only goes to those who are legally allowed to live here, that we limit access to certain benefits, and that we ensure that the Human Rights Act's "right to a family life" is no longer able to be abused. At the same time those employing illegal immigrants need to be tackled, which is why the government will be introducing larger, significantly more substantial fines on firms that do so. These are all solid measures that will make a real difference and help tackle the often unfair perception that immigrants only take and do not give back.
There has been much made by the opposition of the fact that unlike in their day this Queen's Speech didn't contain a mass of new legislation and was instead a modest 19 Bills. Perhaps the fact that they have focussed on the quantity of the speech means that they agree with it's quality, but regardless of that I believe they have missed an important point.
Delivering change is not just about passing laws, it's about implementation and this is a government with a solid direction that it is implementing with a laser like focus, The passing of the Academies Bill isn't what is transforming education in this country, it is the laser-like focus of Michael Gove and his department's ability to implement. Similarly it won't be just the passing of a new immigration bill that will help us bring immigration down to the tens of thousands, it will be the implementation of both legislation and policy. For this government the implementation of policy is just as important as the legislation that enables it, something we should all welcome.