Queen's speech contains packed agenda for new British coalition government

08:24, May 26, 2010      

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The Royal Carriage of Queen Elizabeth II passes by the House of Parliament in central London, Britain, May 25, 2010. The Queen gave her speech for the state opening of the new parliament at the House of Parliament Tuesday. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)

The new British coalition government took a major step forward on Tuesday with the delivery of the Queen's Speech to the Houses of Parliament, which marks the formal opening of the new parliamentary term and a packed agenda of tasks over the coming year.

The Queen's Speech is both a symbolic ritual and a highly important political act. Queen Elizabeth II's speech is written for her by the government, and it details the bills that will be debated in the coming parliamentary term.

It's a political roadmap for the coming year, and the new coalition government, formed by the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrat party, has set for itself a tough task of passing 22 bills.

These cover big and complex issues, like political and educational reform. But the principal thrust of the Queen's Speech was tackling the record budget deficit of 156 billion pounds ( about 225 billion U.S. dollars).

The Queen, speaking from a throne in the House of Lords in the Houses of Parliament, said: "My Government's legislative program will be based upon the principles of freedom, fairness and responsibility."

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