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THE QUEEN'S SPEECH TRAILED

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The legislative programme for the 1999-2000 parliamentary session, to be unveiled in the Queen's Speech on Wednesda...
The legislative programme for the 1999-2000 parliamentary session, to be unveiled in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday, according to The Sunday Telegraph (p4), comprises:

Transport Bill including the setting up of the strategic rail authority, the controversial privatisation of the National Air Traffic Service, and introducing congestion charges and road pricing;

Local Government Bill allowing councils to switch to cabinet-style leadership and elected mayors;

Social Services Bill setting up an independent inspectorate for children's and old people's homes;

Countryside Bill giving walkers a statutory right to roam and setting up local access forums;

Education Bill reforming further and higher education;

Race Relations Bill updating the existing Act so that the police and other public servants are covered by the legislation;

Criminal Justice Bill introducing mandatory drug testing of people under arrest, plus reform of the probation service;

Party Funding Bill banning overseas donations, naming donors of gifts over£5,000 and capping of election spending;

Sexual Offences Bill lowering the homosexual ageof consent to 16;

Welfare Bill reforming the Child Support Agency, including new flat-rate payments and introducing pensions changes;

Freedom of Information Bill aimed at extending the public's rights to know;

Deregulation Bill is Cabinet Office legislation designed to reduce red tape;

Post Office Bill changing the service to a state-owned plc will be one of five Bills from the Department of Trade and Industry.

The others are: Electronic Commerce Bill securing internet transactions; Utilities Bill, strengthening regulation of the privatised industries; Insolvency Bill making it easier for bankrupts to get back into business, and a Bill to make it easier for accountants and solicitors to form limited liability partnerships; and

Financial Services and Markets Bill, already published in draft form.

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