Queen's Speech slammed by South Tyneside MPs over 'failure' to tackle cost of living crisis

MPs and campaigners in the North East have slammed the government’s “failure” to tackle the cost of living crisis and economic stagnation with its flagship policy announcement.

By james harrison
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 12:04 pm

Almost 40 bills or other policy proposals were packed into the latest edition of the Queen’s Speech, traditionally used by ministers to set out their legislative agenda for the coming months.

Eye-catching moves unveiled included measures to force landlords to rent empty high street shop units and a crackdown on “subscription traps” and fake reviews.

But yesterday’s (Tuesday, May 10) State Opening of Parliament, trailed as an attempt by Borish Johnson to get “back on track” after Partygate and a disappointing set of local election results, prompted as many questions over what was missed as on what was included.

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Prince Charles during the 2022 State Opening of Parliament

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Jarrow MP Kate Osborne said: “The Queen's Speech has neglected to include any measures that will provide emergency support to address the growing crisis in the cost of living.

"The Government is more focussed on supporting big business than it is on supporting those who are struggling to make ends meet.”

The ceremonial set-piece, which is written by the Government, was also notable for marking the first time in 59 years it was not delivered by the Queen.

Emma Lewell-Buck MP

Instead, Prince Charles stood in for what Buckingham Palace described as “episodic mobility problems” for the 96-year-old monarch.

Inflation is forecast to hit a 40-year high later in 2022, at 10%, prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to warn the government would be unable to “completely shield people from the fallout from global events”.

A planned Energy Security Bill will focus on rolling out low carbon and energy efficient heating systems, as well as beef up regulation of the sector, in a bid to drive down price – but ministers have been slammed for doing too little.

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck said the speech demonstrated a government “out of ideas and out of touch with the needs of our country”.

Kate Osborne

She added: “We’re facing rising inflation, soaring energy bills and the highest tax burden in 50 years.

"But again we see the government refusing to help struggling families make ends meet.”

Amanda Bailey, director of the North East Child Poverty Commission, added failure to provide support would “put even greater pressure on overstretched local services”.