The new Criminal Justice Bill promised a series of measures to rebalance the criminal justice system in favour of the victim and simplify procedures.
It also fulfilled a long-standing promise to allow judges to sit alone or with expert assessors such as accountants in complex fraud cases.
A bill will also be put in place to clarify and codify laws on corruption providing a single and comprehensive offence of corruption applicable to all, in line with the UK’s international obligations.
Linked with this will be a commitment to introduce a bill to tackle international crimes such as drug trafficking, money laundering and financial crime.
This will implement European Union and other international arrangements to tackle cross-border crime.
The Speech also included proposals to alter the financing of higher education and the NHS in respect of the new flagship ‘Foundation Hospitals’, notice of a Green Paper on Pension reform and a Bill to create Regional Assemblies for England with spending but not taxation powers.
There will be more measures to affect accountants in chancellor Gordon Brown’s pre-Budget statement later this month which will look at a range of tax and planning incentives to encourage business – especially smaller hi-tech firms – in deprived areas of the country.
The pre-Budget statement will also provide more details on a consultative Green Paper on pensions to tackle the current superannuation.
There will also be a Communications Bill creating a single regulator for the broadcasting, IT and telecoms industries opening the way for more cross-media owernship.
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