Queen’s speech: measures criticised for failing to help people with cost of living crisis – live | Politics


Queen’s speech won’t help workers, but good for unscrupulous bosses, say union leaders

Here is some trade union reaction to the Queen’s speech.

Referring to the absense of an employment bill in the package, Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, said:

The prime minister promised to make Britain the best place in the world to work. But he has turned his back on working people.

Today, bad bosses up and down the country will be celebrating.

No employment bill means vital rights that ministers had promised – like default flexible working, fair tips and protection from pregnancy discrimination – risk being ditched for good.

And it means no action on the scourge of insecure work and ending exploitative practices like zero-hours contracts and fire and rehire.

This is from Sharon Graham, the Unite general secretary.

Workers and communities are suffering. We are in the middle of a cost of living crisis and a recession is looming. So where is the programme to address these issues head on? Where are the laws to stop profiteering and prevent attacks on workers? Where is the help for the millions who are already faced with the shocking decision of whether to heat or eat?

And these are from Christina McAnea, general secretary of Unison.

Response to the government’s Queen’s Speech from Christina McAnea @cmcanea, UNISON general secretary:

‘This is a government that’s run out of ideas. Its planned laws won’t make a shred of difference to the millions crushed by soaring living costs 1/4 🧵

— UNISON – UK’s largest union (@unisontheunion) May 10, 2022

‘Ministers haven’t grasped the seriousness of the crisis. Families are being forced into debt and are going hungry.
 
‘Brexit has made the situation worse. European countries have done much more to shield their citizens from surging energy bills #QueensSpeech @cmcanea
 2/4

— UNISON – UK’s largest union (@unisontheunion) May 10, 2022

‘Unscrupulous bosses will cheer the demise of the promised employment bill. But its absence will dismay workers in perilous jobs. For many, fire and rehire on less pay has become the grim reality#QueensSpeech @cmcanea
3/4

— UNISON – UK’s largest union (@unisontheunion) May 10, 2022

‘No new cash for an inflating-busting pay rise means the NHS and other essential services will go on shedding experienced staff. Waits for treatment will get longer and services worsen for everyone’#QueensSpeech @cmcanea for UNISON
4/4

— UNISON – UK’s largest union (@unisontheunion) May 10, 2022

The government says its public order bill, announced in the Queen’s speech, will stop “a minority of protestors from using guerrilla tactics that cause misery to the hard-working public, disrupt businesses, interfere with emergency services, cost millions in taxpayers’ money and put lives at risk”.

It is aimed at people like those behind the Just Stop Oil protests. My colleague Damien Gayle has been looking at what they have been doing, and why, and he has just made this video about their campaign.

Inside Just Stop Oil: the ‘hooligan’ climate protesters taking on the tankers – video

These are from Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader.

What has happened to the Employment Bill promised by Ministers?

Where is the action to tackle low wages and end fire and rehire in today’s Queen’s Speech?

Boris Johnson promised “the best protection” for workers in Britain.

He’s failing to deliver. 🛒pic.twitter.com/FNURec8y4w

— Angela Rayner 🌹 (@AngelaRayner) May 10, 2022

Boris Johnson is failing Britain’s workers again with yet more broken promises. 🗂🗑

The Prime Minister pledged enhanced rights and protections at work, but is instead dragging Britain’s workers down – in a race to the bottom. ⬇️#QueensSpeech https://t.co/mCmkgxImgk

— Angela Rayner 🌹 (@AngelaRayner) May 10, 2022

And here is a senior Conservative also criticising the Queen’s speech for its failure to include measures that would help people through the cost of living crisis. Gavin Barwell was chief of staff to Theresa May when she was prime minister and is never shy about saying when he thinks Boris Johnson is making a mistake.

Lots to like in the Queen’s Speech (ban on no fault evictions a personal highlight), some disappointing omissions (eg Employment Bill) but it’s biggest flaw is lack of action on the cost of living. Both morally and politically the government needs to do more

— Gavin Barwell (@GavinBarwell) May 10, 2022

Queen’s speech measures fail to help people with cost of living, say opposition parties and unions

The opening sentence of the Queen’s speech said: “Her Majesty’s government’s priority is to grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families.” But there is a growing chorus of criticism from people saying that there is little or nothing in the legislative proposals announced by the government that will address these two key priorities.

Opposition politicians (see 12.25pm and 12.43pm, for example), trade unions (see 12.40pm) and thinktanks (see 12.52pm) have all been making this argument. The New Economics Foundation, another leftwing thinktank, has also made the same point. Miatta Fahnbulleh, its chief executive, said:

Last week, voters sent a clear message to the government: you’re not doing enough to tackle the cost of living crisis.

People have had enough of the government doing nothing whilst millions are forced to turn their heating off, and skip meals. Today’s Queen’s speech was a chance for the government to act – to tackle the cost of living crisis and truly level up the country. Not one that plays politics and stokes culture wars, without making any material difference to people’s lives.

Here is the clip of Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer chatting on their way to listen to the Queen’s speech.

‘Quite a weekend’: Johnson appears to aim dig at Starmer over ‘Beergate’ – video

The Beergate controversy does seem to be having a significant, but not catastrophic, impact on Keir Starmer’s poll ratings, new figures from YouGov suggest. But Starmer still has a clear lead over Boris Johnson on the best PM measure.

Here are comments from two leftish thinktankers on the Queen’s speech.

From Ian Mulheirn, head of policy at the Tony Blair Institute

It was big chat to open the Queen’s Speech with lines about ‘growing the economy’ and ‘easing the burden’, but then have almost nothing that measures up to either of those challenges…

— Ian Mulheirn (@ianmulheirn) May 10, 2022

From Torsten Bell, head of the Resolution Foundation

British politics is out of ideas

— Torsten Bell (@TorstenBell) May 10, 2022

Which might be okay in some times and places, but not in our low growth/high inequality time and place

— Torsten Bell (@TorstenBell) May 10, 2022

In a Twitter thread starting here, the Resolution Foundation has more on the econonomic problems facing the UK that it thinks the Queen’s speech is not addressing.

The framing for the #QueensSpeech is an agenda “to grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families.” That’s the right focus, and here’s a thread explaining the scale of the challenge. Whether these Bills actually fit that focus is another question…

— Resolution Foundation (@resfoundation) May 10, 2022

Plaid Cymru has criticised the Queen’s speech. This is from Liz Saville Roberts, its leader at Westminster.

This Queen’s speech was a disappointing series of platitudes by a government utterly detached from reality. This legislative programme will do nothing to address the worsening cost of living crisis and will only deepen divisions by persevering with an increasingly authoritarian agenda.

Queen’s speech won’t help workers, but good for unscrupulous bosses, say union leaders

Here is some trade union reaction to the Queen’s speech.

Referring to the absense of an employment bill in the package, Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, said:

The prime minister promised to make Britain the best place in the world to work. But he has turned his back on working people.

Today, bad bosses up and down the country will be celebrating.

No employment bill means vital rights that ministers had promised – like default flexible working, fair tips and protection from pregnancy discrimination – risk being ditched for good.

And it means no action on the scourge of insecure work and ending exploitative practices like zero-hours contracts and fire and rehire.

This is from Sharon Graham, the Unite general secretary.

Workers and communities are suffering. We are in the middle of a cost of living crisis and a recession is looming. So where is the programme to address these issues head on? Where are the laws to stop profiteering and prevent attacks on workers? Where is the help for the millions who are already faced with the shocking decision of whether to heat or eat?

And these are from Christina McAnea, general secretary of Unison.

Response to the government’s Queen’s Speech from Christina McAnea @cmcanea, UNISON general secretary:

‘This is a government that’s run out of ideas. Its planned laws won’t make a shred of difference to the millions crushed by soaring living costs 1/4 🧵

— UNISON – UK’s largest union (@unisontheunion) May 10, 2022

‘Ministers haven’t grasped the seriousness of the crisis. Families are being forced into debt and are going hungry.
 
‘Brexit has made the situation worse. European countries have done much more to shield their citizens from surging energy bills #QueensSpeech @cmcanea
 2/4

— UNISON – UK’s largest union (@unisontheunion) May 10, 2022

‘Unscrupulous bosses will cheer the demise of the promised employment bill. But its absence will dismay workers in perilous jobs. For many, fire and rehire on less pay has become the grim reality#QueensSpeech @cmcanea
3/4

— UNISON – UK’s largest union (@unisontheunion) May 10, 2022

‘No new cash for an inflating-busting pay rise means the NHS and other essential services will go on shedding experienced staff. Waits for treatment will get longer and services worsen for everyone’#QueensSpeech @cmcanea for UNISON
4/4

— UNISON – UK’s largest union (@unisontheunion) May 10, 2022

These are from Caroline Lucas, the Green MP, on the Queen’s speech.

Can’t believe what I’ve just heard in this #QueensSpeech

Housing: plans dropped
Human rights: stripped
Conversion therapy ban: half-baked
Levelling up: hollowed out
Climate emergency: utterly ignored

This is a Tory Government with no purpose

— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) May 10, 2022

Wonder how Prince Charles felt about reading out a #QueensSpeech with big fat zero in it on environment…Hugely disappointing to see Nature Bill has been scrapped. Has the Government forgotten there’s a biodiversity emergency? Pity he couldn’t have improvised a bit … #COP15

— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) May 10, 2022

Glad to see Energy Security Bill in #QueensSpeech, but it will ring hollow if it fails to provide a retrofit revolution to slash bills & energy demand

When the 1.5C limit is close to being broken, we desperately need a #fossilfueltreaty to keep fossil fuels in the ground

— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) May 10, 2022

This is from Ed Davey, the Lib Dem leader, on the Queen’s speech.

This Queen’s speech does nothing to help the millions of families and pensioners facing soaring bills and eye-watering inflation. The Conservatives have failed to deliver a cut to VAT that would have saved families an average of £600, failed to help pensioners and failed to help the most vulnerable in our society.

The Conservatives are continuing to neglect rural communities. There was nothing in these plans to support farmers on the brink, to tackle soaring ambulance waiting times and GP shortages, or to stop the dumping of filthy sewage into our river and seas.

It shows a prime minister refusing to listen to the clear message sent by voters at last week’s local elections who are fed up of being taken for granted by this Conservative government.

The Prince of Wales delivering the Queen’s speech, as seen from where MPs were standing, at the entrance to the House of Lords chamber.
The Prince of Wales delivering the Queen’s speech, as seen from where MPs were standing, at the entrance to the House of Lords chamber. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/AFP/Getty Images

How Queen’s speech contained veiled reference to plan to abandon Northern Ireland protocol

Last week it emerged that ministers have drawn up legislation that would give them power to abandon large parts of the Northern Ireland protocol. The bill would present this in terms of giving ministers powers to protect the Good Friday agreement.

The bill was not referred to directly in the Queen’s speech, and the bill does not get an explicit mention in the 139-page briefing document released by the government explaining the measures in legislative programme. (It is not online yet, but I will post a link when it goes up.)

But the Queen’s speech did implicitly refer to this legislation. The Prince of Wales said:

The continued success and integrity of the whole of the United Kingdom is of paramount importance to Her Majesty’s government, including the internal economic bonds between all of its parts.

The main unionist objection to the protocol is that it does disrupt those internal economic bonds – as was obvious from the moment Boris Johnson signed it.

Charles also said:

Her Majesty’s government will ensure the constitution is defended.

Unionists argue that the protocol undermines the constitution; some of them even took the government to court on these grounds (so far unsuccessfully).

In the briefing pack on the Queen’s speech the government says:

As we have seen following the elections in Northern Ireland, the problems caused by the protocol continue to stand in the way of an Executive being formed. In the interests of all communities of Northern Ireland, the protocol needs to change. We urge our partners in the EU to work with us, with new imagination and flexibility, to deliver that.

We will continue to talk with the EU but we will not let that stand in the way of protecting peace and stability in Northern Ireland. As any responsible government would, we will take the steps necessary to protect all dimensions of the Belfast (Good Friday) agreement and meet our obligations under the New Decade New Approach Deal to protect Northern Ireland’s place in the UK internal market.

Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer leading MPs from the Commons to the Lords to listen to the Queen’s speech.
Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer leading MPs from the Commons to the Lords to listen to the Queen’s speech. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

Johnson tries to woo Tory voters with planning powers in Queen’s speech

Here is a summary of what is in the Queen’s speech from my colleagues Jessica Elgot and Heather Stewart.

And this is how it starts.

Boris Johnson has pledged to ensure local people benefit from new housing developments and promised to overhaul human rights law, in a Queen’s speech designed to woo back disenchanted Conservative voters.

Standing in for the Queen, Prince Charles announced plans for 38 new laws including a levelling-up bill giving local leaders powers to tackle decaying high streets.

Local people will be given powers to shape planning decisions, in a pared-back set of changes aimed at avoiding the risk of infuriating voters in Tory heartlands by unleashing a building boom.

And this is how Charles concluded.

In this year of the Platinum Jubilee, I look forward to the celebrations taking place across the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth, and to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer.

MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

Estimates for the public services will be laid before you.

MY LORDS AND MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

Other measures will be laid before you.

I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.

Finally, some remaining measures.

Her Majesty’s Government will introduce legislation to improve the regulation of social housing to strengthen the rights of tenants and ensure better quality, safer homes.. Legislation will also be introduced to ban conversion therapy. Proposals will be published to establish an independent regulator of English football.





Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.