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Address in Reply to Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:00 am on 25th November 2004.

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Photo of Lord Davies of Oldham Lord Davies of Oldham Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords) 11:00 am, 25th November 2004

My Lords, all in good time. The hybrid Bill will set up the framework for construction and will guarantee that the necessary resources are available to begin the project. But the noble Lord will recognise the intricacy of the negotiations and the importance of a match of private and public funds. I am not sure why he is being critical in this respect. Surely he must see that our advantage as regards the railway system as a whole is our ability to bring in both substantial government investment and private investment.

I want to refer briefly to the subject of road safety. The Government are introducing a Bill to improve driving standards, to increase penalties in crucial areas—not least in respect of driving while using a mobile phone, in which I declare a past interest—and to ensure that the police have access to insurance data in order that they can detect uninsured drivers at the touch of a button.

My noble friend Lord McIntosh will reply to the debate and to all those who introduce the fourth dimension of this debate, which relates to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The department is sponsoring two Bills. The National Lottery Bill is an important element of our reforms to the lottery to make it responsive to people's priorities and to widen the opportunities which it offers.

The Gambling Bill, too, is about reform to deliver better outcomes. We need to address the changes resulting from new technology; we need to ensure that where adults want to gamble, they can do so with the knowledge that they are being properly protected; and we need to ensure that that protection extends to children and the vulnerable. We shall have a constructive and wide-ranging debate on its contents. That debate has already begun in the other place. We look forward to the debate developing with the usual rigour in your Lordships' House.

Our proposals will enhance economic stability, promote prosperity and jobs, enhance mobility and create a fairer, more secure and more just society. They offer opportunity for all, and I commend them to the House.