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View from the House

This week saw the most prestigious event of the Parliamentary year – the State Opening of Parliament which can be traced back as far as the 16th Century. The height of proceedings is the Queen’s Speech given by Her Majesty to Members of both the House of Commons and the Lords setting out the Government’s agenda for the new Parliamentary session.

This Queen’s Speech set out the legislation which will build on the achievements made by this Conservative-led Coalition that came together in May 2010, to govern in the national interest. Three years on, our resolve to turn our Country around has never been stronger. This is a well-judged programme which drives forward a number of key reforms and addresses a number of the electorate’s key concerns. These include further steps to control and reduce immigration, boost the economy and support people who have worked hard and contributed all of their lives.

I welcome the measures announced in the Queen’s Speech and particularly those that I know will be directly helpful to us in Sutton Coldfield. These include the Immigration Bill which will clamp down on those from overseas who abuse our public services, the National Insurance Contributions Bill which will cut the cost of recruiting new employees and the Care Bill which will protect pensioners and carers by capping care costs and extending the means test threshold for financial assistance to ensure that no-one has to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for residential care.

Following the Queen’s Speech Members of Parliament debate the content of the Government’s planned legislative programme. I took part in the Debate on the Address and took the opportunity to highlight a matter of much concern to my constituents - the duty of our generation to preserve the Green Belt. I have consistently argued that the proposal to build 10,000 homes on Sutton’s Green Belt is unnecessary as there are other solutions to the housing problems in Birmingham. I will not hesitate to pursue this matter further in the House of Commons in due course if the ludicrous proposal from the Labour Council in Birmingham stands.

Although the road to the mid-term of this Parliament has been tough I am confident that the programme set out in this Queen’s Speech has the capacity to make a big difference to the lives of my constituents during what is a very difficult economic time for our country.

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