Queen lays out government proposals

May 10, 2012 at 1:55 AM
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LONDON, May 10 (UPI) -- Queen Elizabeth II opened the British Parliament Wednesday with her annual Speech from the Throne, laying out the government's program.

While the queen delivered the speech, the words were provided for her by the ruling Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. The speech contained few major proposals, although it provided some tweaks to existing government policy, The Daily Telegraph reported.

On the economic front, the speech included proposals to provide more stability in the economy. These included separating investment and retail banking and giving shareholders more say in compensation for top executives.

The government also proposed extending rights for divorced fathers and speeding up adoptions.

On national security, intelligence agencies would have greater power to track online communication and some sensitive trials might be held in secret.

One issue that has divided the Conservative Party -- an elected House of Lords -- was in the speech as government policy. The Lib Dems strongly support the plan, which would replace life peers and the remaining hereditaries, with legislators elected to 15-year terms.

Ed Miliband, leader of the Labor Party, said the speech offers nothing for the middle class.

"For the young person looking for work, the speech offers nothing," Miliband said. "For a family who's living standards are being squeezed, this speech offers nothing. For millions of people who don't think the Government is on their side, this speech offers nothing."

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