KATE OSBORNE: No new support for the many facing soaring living costs
Following the excitement of last week’s local elections, Parliament returned for the Queen’s Speech - the Government’s legislative agenda for the next parliamentary term.
Prince Charles announced plans for 38 pieces of legislation including a Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, a Brexit Freedoms Bill, a Schools Bill, an Energy Security Bill, the long-promised Online Safety Bill and a Public Order Bill.
However, despite promises to get Britain “back on track” after the Covid pandemic, the Queen’s Speech contained no new support for households struggling with the cost of living - the main, immediate challenge facing this country.
There’s no sign of it abating and so many families are struggling financially.
The Bank of England recently issued a prediction that inflation will surpass 10% later this year so when the UK is already experiencing the worst deterioration in living standards for decades, many will dread to think what a continued surge in prices will mean for them and their families.
A wasted decade of low growth under the Conservatives has left our economy weakened and the Tories have become the party of high taxes and low pay.
We needed a Queen's Speech that would tackle the cost of living crisis, with an emergency budget, including a windfall tax to get money off people's bills.
We needed a real plan for growth to get our economy firing on all cylinders, with a Climate Investment Pledge and a commitment to buy, make and sell more in Britain.
Instead, a failure to tackle the cost of living crisis and low growth in the Queen’s Speech marks a major economic failure by the Conservatives.
It could have shown a Government in touch with working people, a Government taking action to make sure there are no more reports of millions of people struggling to make ends meet.
The Government could have introduced much greater support for working families and pensioners facing rising bills, funded by a windfall tax on oil and gas companies making near-record profits during this crisis. But they have not.
This is a government that is completely out of touch. These planned laws will make little difference to the millions who are facing soaring living costs.