UK government focuses on cost of living crisis in Queen’s Speech overshadowed by her absence

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Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, sits with The Imperial State Crown in the House of Lords Chamber, during the State Opening of Parliament.

Ben Stansall | Afp | Getty Images

LONDON – The British government vowed on Tuesday to focus on economic growth to tackle the country’s rising cost of living, in a speech from the Queen delivered by the monarch’s son and the first in line for the throne, Prince Charles.

The Queen’s speech is written by the government and read by the monarch as part of the official opening of parliament, the formal start of each new parliamentary session.

Prince Charles came in for 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II, who had to withdraw from the event due to mobility issues.

“The priority of Her Majesty’s government is to grow and strengthen the economy and help alleviate the cost of living for families,” Prince Charles told parliament on Tuesday.

“My government will increase opportunities in all parts of the country and help more people into work. Her Majesty’s ministers will continue to support the police to make the streets safer and fund the National Health Service to help clear the Covid backlog to work.”

“Leveling” was a key promise from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, referring to efforts to tackle geographic disparities in the UK

The government also vowed to repeal and reform business regulations following the UK’s departure from the European Union, introducing a new Brexit Freedoms Bill that “will allow easier amendments to legislation inherited from the European Union” .

An energy bill will be introduced with the aim of making the transition to “cheaper, cleaner and safer energy”, the outlined speech read, while draft legislation will also be published to “promote competition, strengthen consumer rights and protect households”.

Prince Charles also said the government will boost economic growth to “improve living standards and fund sustainable investment in public services”.

“This will be supported by a responsible approach to public finances, reducing debt and reforming and lowering taxes,” he added.

MEPs will return to the House of Commons on Tuesday for an additional statement from Johnson, expanding the legislative announcements in the Queen’s speech, and a debate at 2.30pm London time.

Response

The Confederation of British Industry said companies looking for the government to address the cost of living crisis by growing the economy would be “encouraged” by Tuesday’s announcements.

“The focus on infrastructure, energy security and skills all lay the foundation for longer-term sustainable growth. And the pursuit of smarter, better regulation will ensure the UK remains a global leader in finance and puts us at the forefront of the pack to make the most of emerging technologies,” said Matthew Fell, CBI’s Chief UK Policy Director.

“But in addition to ambition, an unwavering focus on realization is now needed. Ahead of the fall budget, the government must continue to focus on freeing up the investment needed to grow the economy and tackle the cost of living crisis. to grab.”

The Resolution Foundation, a UK think tank focused on improving the living standards of low- to middle-income people, agreed with the focus on stronger economic growth, but said the UK needs a new economic strategy to meet its current challenges. to grab.

The think tank stressed that the economic performance of the advanced economies has been poor over the past decade, but “especially for the UK”, which has fallen further behind the US, France and Germany.

“Secondly, the economic stagnation we have experienced has led to a lack of real wage growth. By the end of this parliament, average earnings are expected to be just £2 a week higher than before the financial crisis,” the foundation says. said in a series of tweets.

“Third, this all adds up to a terrible parliament for the standard of living (measured by real disposable household income). The worst parliament ever. This must be turned around.”

The Resolution Foundation argued that a new economic strategy would be needed to address the challenges in the coming decade of the net-zero transition, along with the current stagnation, and suggested that neither the government nor any major political party has mapped out such an overall strategy to date.



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