The Responsibilities Of Different Levels Of Government In The Uk

1395 words - 6 pages

Assignment 1

The responsibilities of different levels of Government in the UK

There are many different levels of government in the UK. The diagram below describes those levels.

UK Parliament ← → Taxes

Welsh Assembly ← → Health
→ Public Services
↓ → Education

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Central Government

The central government is the United Kingdom Parliament. UK Parliament is in London at the Palace of Westminster. Central government is the level of government that operates at a national level. It is usually located in the country’s capital city and has very special responsibilities which no other level of government has. These include, for example: signing treaties or agreements with other nations, making laws, defending the nation. It is made up of three constituent parts: the Monarch, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The House of Commons

There are currently 650 Members of Parliament and nine parties represented in the House of Commons.

The responsibilities of the House of Commons are:

Making laws- nearly fifty per cent of the time of the House of Commons is spent on making new laws. These laws can have an extremely wide impact on the country and all public services. All three parts of Parliament must agree before a new law can be passed.

To controlling finance (the budget) – they have to control taxes, decide what taxes are collected, and how this money should be spent, because they should spend money wisely.

To debate the major issues of the day- both Houses of Parliament hold general debates on matters of national and international importance.

To protect the public and safeguard the rights of individuals- Members of the House of Commons are often contacted by individuals with difficulties. In addition, large petitions are often put forward to the House on a variety of issues of importance to individuals, such as road building, reducing taxes and changes to law.

To examine European proposals before they become law. The House of Lords and the House of Commons both have committees that examine European proposals, which allow Parliament to prepare and alter its laws to bring the UK into line with the rest of Europe.

Defend the country (can declare war)

Election to the House of Commons

There are two ways in which people can be elected to the House of Commons:
During a general election, representatives from all constituencies are elected simultaneously. A general election happens every five years. Election takes place when the current representative of a constituency dies, retires or resigns and a new representative is needed for that one constituency only. Election can occur at any time.

The House of Lords

The Lords currently has around 740 Members, and there are three different types: Life Peers, Bishops and Elected Hereditary Peers. Unlike MPs, the public do not elect the Lords. The majority are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.

There are three different types of Lords:

Life Peers- Appointed for their lifetime only, these Lords' titles are not passed on to their children. The Queen formally appoints life Peers on the advice and recommendation of the Prime Minister.


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