Private landlords will be forced to check the visa status of tenants or face fines of thousands of pounds to tackle fraudulent immigration to Britain, under plans to be announced Wednesday by Queen Elizabeth II.
Setting out the government’s plans for the next legislative session at the state opening of parliament in London, the monarch will say a new immigration bill will also include the power to fine businesses found using illegal labor and ensure temporary migrants make a contribution to the state-run health service.
The government will also limit access to some state-provided benefits to migrants from the European Economic Area to six months only as part of plans to cut welfare costs and reward British workers, Prime Minister David Cameron will say.
“Our resolve to turn our country around has never been stronger,” Cameron will say in a joint statement with his Liberal Democrat deputy, Nick Clegg, according to the premier’s office. “It is all about backing people who work hard and want to get on in life.”
The dozen bills in the queen’s speech, coming two years ahead of national elections, are a test of what Cameron and Clegg can get through parliament, as both battle discontent from their own lawmakers over the three-year-old coalition. In the last session, Clegg killed a bill to track phone calls and email data after expressing concerns about civil liberties, one of his party’s priorities.
The government also plans a bill to speed up the patents applications process and simplify intellectual-property rights for design companies as part of its program.
An energy bill encouraging 110 billion pounds ($170 billion) of investment in the electricity industry, another bill cutting national-insurance contributions — a levy on employers — for small businesses, and legislation to support the construction of the HS2 high-speed rail link between London and the north of England will also be included.
The queen will announce a bill to modernize intellectual property, allowing Britain to implement the Unitary Patent and Court Agreement, a pan-European deal to standardize the patents process.
The bill will also simplify and strengthen design protection, a person familiar with the content said four days ago, adding that government figures show that British companies invested 15.5 billion pounds in design in 2009, representing 1.1 percent of gross domestic product.
The energy bill aims to ensure that as older power plants close and demand increases, Britain remains able to generate enough electricity.
There will also be a bill focusing on deregulation for business to reduce burdens on small companies. Measures are likely to include exemptions from health and safety law for the self-employed whose work activities pose no harm to others, the person said.
A social-care bill capping costs for the elderly and a pensions bill to create a flat-rate state pension to encourage savings and help women who have had career breaks to care for children or relatives will also be included, according to Cameron’s office.
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