I am delighted to share with you the Government's legislative programme as set out in the Queen's Speech today to help unite and level up the country, and build back better.
As we emerge from the biggest challenge to face this county since the Second World War, we will harness the ingenuity and resolve of the struggle against COVID-19, and use it to create a stronger, healthier and more prosperous nation.
Beating the virus remains our number one priority. We will cautiously and irreversibly follow the steps of the Roadmap, pressing on with our world-leading vaccination programme and our plans for a booster campaign in the autumn. The new Heath and Care Bill will place a greater emphasis on integrated care and prevention, and later in the year we will bring forward proposals to reform social care and ensure that our elderly and vulnerable are given the support they need.
As the United Kingdom gets back on its feet, we will turbo-charge our economic recovery in every part of our country, increasing and spreading opportunity with continued support for businesses and investment in infrastructure, supporting growth and high-quality jobs. We will deliver a new Lifetime Skills Guarantee through the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, giving everyone the chance to train or retrain at any stage of their lives, so that they have the skills employers need. We are putting in place new measures to address lost learning, so no child will be left behind.
We will make the most of our new found Brexit freedoms, launching Freeports, modernising the planning system with the Planning Bill, reforming procurement rules and regulations and designing a new subsidy system to accelerate our recovery through the Procurement and Subsidy Control Bills. We will turn Britain into a science superpower, building on the extraordinary work of our life sciences sector during the pandemic, which has led the world in everything from vaccine development to genomic sequencing, and we will invest record sums in Research and Development.
We will improve connectivity and opportunities around the country with better transport and technology, taking forward the transformation of rail and bus services, including through the Union Connectivity Review, while the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will accelerate the rollout of 5G mobile and gigabit broadband.
We will build back stronger, bringing the Union together. We will introduce legislation to address the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, ensuring that our proposals deliver better outcomes for victims, survivors, and veterans, while ending the cycle of investigations.
We will build back fairer, giving everyone the chance to realise their potential regardless of where they are from, or their background. Central to this is giving more people the chance to own their own home, making renting fairer and effectively abolishing ground rent on new long residential leases through the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill. As part of our goal to level up the country, we will bring forward proposals that address racial disparities, support disabled people and help eradicate barriers facing different groups.
We will build back greener, protecting the natural world and supporting the creation of thousands of skilled jobs in clean energy and new industries. As the first major economy to legislate for net-zero by 2050, we will use our Presidency of COP26 to galvanise ambitious global action on climate change, and we will deliver the highest standards of animal welfare in a series of bills.
We will build back safer, toughening sentences for serious and violent offenders through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts BIll, and do more to prevent violence against women and girls. We will implement the biggest programme of investment in defence since the Cold War, and the Armed Forces Bill will further incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant in law so those who protect us are given the respect and support they deserve.
And as we build back better at home, we will play a stronger and more effective role overseas, working with our allies, deepening our trade ties, and using our Presidency of the G7 and COP26 to spur global action on climate change, girls' education, fighting Covid and improving our defences against future health security risks.
We will continue to build on our 2019 Conservative Party Manifesto which delivers on the priorities of the British people:
- Delivering the biggest cash boost in history for the NHS seeing over 11,200 more nurses in our NHS in the last year;
- Recruiting over 8,000 extra police officers as part of our 20,000 target;
- Launching our New Plan for Immigration to strengthen our borders;
- Boosting school funding by £14 billion over three years; and
- Launching a new £4.8 billion levelling Up Fund.
Further information on the Government legislative agenda can be found in the background briefing notes which accompany the Speech and are available on GOV.UK.