The Queen's Speech: what does it mean for Wales?


It's that time of the year again. So what's in it for Wales?

The answer is that almost all the new laws proposed in the Queen's Speech affect Wales in some way. Even among those bills that are England-only, such as the Care bill, which introduces a lifetime cap on care costs of £75,000, the Welsh government will be looking closely at their possible impact on Wales.

When it comes to Wales-only laws, the Queen announced: "Draft legislation will be published concerning the electoral arrangements for the National Assembly for Wales."

Political anoraks will need no reminder what this is about - but here's one anyway.

It means confirmation that the National Assembly for Wales will move from four to five-year fixed terms, to reduce the chance of assembly elections coinciding with parliamentary elections.

The ban on dual candidacy - which stops would-be AMs standing in both constituencies and on regional lists - will be lifted. It means candidates will be able to risk defeat in a constituency in the hope that the top-up list will ensure they get elected despite the thumbs-down from voters.

Ministers also plan to abolish the dual mandate that allows AMs to sit as MPs.

The legislation will be published in draft form, which allows pre-legislative scrutiny. The timetable will also allow ministers to include any changes to the assembly's powers that emerge from the UK government's response to the Silk commission report that suggested the Welsh government should acquire some responsibility for raising the money it spends.

Feel free to add your views on the speech in the usual way.

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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