PracticeAccounting FirmsQueen’s Speech tackles fraud and corruption

Queen's Speech tackles fraud and corruption

Today's Queen's Speech, setting out the government's legislative programme for the coming Parliament, has promised legislation to allow judges to sit alone in complex fraud cases and new action against corruption.

Link: Queen to introduce public spending plans

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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