What the Queen's Speech means for you

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at the House of Lords. Credit: Suzanne Plunkett/PA Wire

The Queen has unveiled a raft of new measures today as she set out the Coalition Government's agenda for the next parliamentary year.

Here are the 15 key things you need to know about this year's Queen's Speech:

Prime Minister David Cameron said the pension reforms were 'at the heart' of the Queen's Speech. Credit: PA Wire

Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill

  • Make it easier for small businesses to access finance

  • Frequently review the "red tape" that affects small businesses

  • Strengthen the UK's reputation as a trusted and fair place to do business

  • Tackle National Minimum Wage abuses and abuse in zero-hours contracts

  • Make it easier for small businesses to expand overseas

  • Bring fairness to those who run pubs in England and Wales with new code

  • Make some childcare regulations more flexible to meet needs of working families

  • Stop highly paid public sector employees keeping redundancy payments when they come back to the same sector in a short period of time

National Insurance Contributions Bill

  • Aims to tackle avoidance and introduce a Targeted Anti Avoidance Rule

  • Simplify the collection of Class 2 contributions paid by the self-employed

Infrastructure Bill

  • Turn the Highways Agency into a Government-owned company

  • Allow for Species Control Orders to control invasive, non-native species

  • Simplify the process for making changes to Development Consent Orders

  • Implement a Zero Carbon Standard for new homes from 2016 BUT house builders will be allowed to meet the standard by paying for off-site alternatives

  • Support the development of gas and oil from shale and geothermal energy by clarifying the underground access regime

Pensions Tax Bill

  • Introduce a new tax framework that removes restrictions to accessing defined contribution pension savings

  • Remove previous restrictions placed on how people access their money

  • Introduce anti-avoidance provisions

Private Pensions Bill

  • Make provisions to establish three mutually exclusive definitions for scheme type

  • Enable "collective schemes" that pool risk between members

  • Everyone with a Defined Contribution scheme will be offered free, impartial advice

The Childcare Payments Bill is aimed at working families. Credit: PA Wire

Childcare Payments Bill

  • Introduce a new scheme giving support to working families

  • For every £8 a working family pays for childcare, the Government will contribute £2

  • This will be capped at a maximum of £2,000 per child each year

Modern Slavery Bill

  • Consolidate and simplify existing modern slavery offences into one Act

  • Increase maximum sentence available for offenders to life imprisonment

  • Ensure those convicted face the toughest asset confiscation regime

  • Give courts new powers to order perpetrators to pay financial redress to victims

  • Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders to restrict activity of convicted offenders

  • Slavery and Trafficking Rick Orders to restrict activity of those not convicted

  • Create a new Anti-Slavery Commissioner

Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill

  • Aim to give "peace of mind" to volunteers and those intervening in an emergency that if something goes wrong they will not be sued for negligence or breach of duty

  • Does not prevent a person from being found negligent if the case warrants it

  • But sends a strong signal to the courts to ensure that they consider, in all cases, the wider context of the defendant's actions

Service Complaints Bill

  • The existing Service Complaints Commissioner given increased powers to strengthen the way complaints are handled

  • This would include ability to investigate whether the complaint was handled properly, the power to recommend action and the power to overturn a decision

  • Financial payments to organisations that support the UK's armed forces

Watch: 'Loud thud' as Queen's page boy faints at Westminster

Serious Crime Bill

  • Improve ability to recover criminal assets

  • Extend the scope of Serious Crime Prevention Orders and gang injunctions

  • Create a new offence targeting people who knowingly participate in organised crime

  • Create new offence of possessing "paedophilic manuals"

  • Make it explicit that cruelty likely to cause psychological harm to a child is an offence

It is hoped the Recall mechanism will keep MPs in line. Credit: Pool

Recall of MPs Bill

  • Establish a Recall mechanism giving constituents the opportunity to trigger a by-election where an MP is convicted of an offence and given a custodial sentence

  • It can also be used if the House of Commons resolves an MP should face Recall

  • The proposals are for MPs and would not apply to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly or the Northern Ireland Assembly

Wales Bill

  • The Bill provides the legislative framework to implement new financial powers

  • Devolves stamp duty land tax and landfill tax to Wales

  • Allows further taxes to be devolved

  • Provides for a referendum in Wales on whether income tax elements should be devolved

  • Grants new powers for Welsh ministers to borrow fund capital expenditure

Governance of National Parks (England) and the Broads draft Bill

  • Aims to enable to composition of these authorities to be broadened in the future

A building on fire in London during the August 2011 riots. Credit: ITV News

Draft Riot (Damages) Act Bill

  • Reform the existing act to improve and modernise the way compensation is delivered

  • Establish a Riot Claims Bureau

  • Extend the application period given to claimants to gather evidence of damage

Draft Protection of Charities Bill

  • Better protect charities in England and Wales from abuse from known risks

  • Make it easier for the Charity Commission to take robust action

  • Support public trust and confidence in the effective regulation of charities

Read: Pension reforms announced in Queen's Speech 2014