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5p on plastic bags and elections in national parks outlined in the Queen's Speech

By Herald Express  |  Posted: June 04, 2014

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh proceed through the Royal Gallery during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London.

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FIVE PENCE charges on plastic carrier bags, a planning crackdown to boost house-building and elections to national parks have been announced among the policies the Government will press ahead with before next year's general election.

The Queen's speech also outlined plans for giant pooled pension schemes, laws that make fracking under people's home's easier and powers allowing voters to kick out MP's who break the law at the state opening of Parliament.

A 5p charge will be introduced in England from October 2015 to help reduce the number of plastic bags handed out by retailers across the country, many of which end up as litter and harm the environment.

Plans to introduce direct elections to the authorities which run England's national parks, including Dartmoor and Exmoor, The Queen's Speech also outlined

Ministers said the move would improve local accountability and address a democratic deficit in the areas protected by national park status.

Under the Infrastructure Bill, the Government will also attempt to fuel a house-building boom, including increasing the number of 'garden cities', by allowing developers to push through planning applications without local authority consent if they are causing 'unnecessary delay and costs'.

Devon and Cornwall struggles with a shortage of housing that means prices are as unaffordable as London in the most desirable rural areas.

Other legislation announced in the Queen's Speech included:

* New 'recall' powers allowing voters to kick out MPs who break the law. Constituents will be able to sack their MP if they are sentenced to up to 12 months in jail, under measures announced in the Queen's Speech.

* The Infrastructure Bill will also include measures to change the law so that companies would not need permission from homeowners to drill under houses and land for shale oil and gas.

* New laws delivering the 'biggest transformation' of Britain's pensions system since its inception, including measures to allow workers to contribute to Dutch-style 'collective' funds.

* Have-a-go heroes and good Samaritans are to be given new legal protections if they end up being sued for neglect or breach of duty after intervening in an emergency.

* The way complaints are handled in the armed forces will be changed with the creation of a new ombudsman with increased powers.

* Plans to water down requirements to make new homes 'zero-carbon'.

* A Small Business Bill which will force big banks to refer firms to alternative lenders, encouraging competition in the market for loans.

The Speech also sets out details of other measures promised earlier this year, including a payment of up to £2,000 per child to parents paying for childcare.

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  • whitehonkey  |  June 05 2014, 4:32AM


  • TBayResident  |  June 04 2014, 8:05PM

    So, what will Supermarkets do for on-line shopping? I will not be paying for around 15 unrequired bags per week.

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  • Pit2014  |  June 04 2014, 5:28PM

    These plastic bags are so useful for recycling. I always use them for household waste. People will just go out and buy more for their waste, so nothing gained. The only people to gain on this will be the supermarkets! I don't expect their savings will be passed onto the public

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  • Cruey  |  June 04 2014, 3:44PM

    Wow becoming quite a dictatorship .......if the government say yes to this

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  • Cruey  |  June 04 2014, 3:43PM

    The Infrastructure Bill will also include measures to change the law so that companies would not need permission from homeowners to drill under houses and land for shale oil and gas. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/kk53rqd Read more at http://tinyurl.com/kk53rqd

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