My column in this week’s Llanelli Star…….
The recent Queen’s Speech showed a Tory Government that is out of steam.
Bereft of ideas and without any sense of urgency to tackle the problems that ordinary families are facing, it ended up being a bit on the thin side to say the least.
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 and a plan to get our economy firing on all cylinders. Instead, the Speech marks a major failure.
Crime is up 18% but prosecutions are down 18%. The number of arrests has dropped by 35,000. Anti-social behaviour is rife and fraud is soaring but this Queen’s speech does nothing to cut crime.
The Online Safety Bill is a step forward. However, despite going through two redrafts it is still a dogs dinner. Labour has repeatedly called on the government to take tougher action to close loopholes that threaten children’s safety and put in place stronger measures against fraud.
As they face rising costs, soaring energy bills and the highest tax burden in 50 years, businesses can’t afford the Tories either. Labour would cut taxes for small firms and bring in a fund to help energy intensive firms, such as those involved in manufacturing and steelmaking, deal with rising energy costs.
The Government have dropped plans to ban the sale of foie gras and fur. Nothing either on air quality, waste or tackling sewage. They are also breaking their promise to ban all forms of conversion therapy and disabled people barely get a mention anywhere.
Overall, it was a disappointing Queen’s Speech that ignored so many important issues. The Prime Minister is more interested in keeping his backbenchers happy rather than creating a safer, greener, more equal country.