I have to say that I found the Queen’s Speech the other week a complete disappointment, not least because it didn’t offer anywhere near the change of direction that we need here in Tameside to help people with the squeeze to their living standards or the help needed to get people back into work.
It’s pretty clear that our country faces some big challenges but after three wasted years of Tory and LibDem Coalition Government and this Queen’s Speech was, I am afraid, yet another wasted opportunity.
Sadly, the Government’s record is one of economic failure and it is hard-working people who’ve done the right thing who are left footing the bill. With prices rising faster than wages, the economy flatling and one million young people out of work the Tory-led Government’s priority this April was to cut taxes by an average of £100,000 for 13,000 people earning over £1 million. Policies like this aren’t going to help the families I represent in Audenshaw, Denton and Dukinfield – or elsewhere in Tameside – to make ends meet.
The perfect opportunity for Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg to demonstrate which lessons have been learnt came last week when the Queen opened Parliament and delivered a speech outlining the Government’s priorities for the year ahead.
This was a chance to rebuild our economy and get people back into work but instead it offered no change and no hope. Energy bills, water bills, paying the mortgage, the cost of getting to work – these are the issues that are worrying families across Tameside but the Government has absolutely nothing to say about it. In its deafening silence the Government demonstrated how utterly out of touch it is with the real needs.
Labour has a clear plan for turning Britain around and getting us back facing the right direction. We’ve outlined an alternative Queen’s Speech that included bills such as a Jobs Bill to put in place a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, a Finance Bill that would kick-start our economy and help make work pay with a 10p rate of tax and a Consumers Bill to tackle rip-off energy bills and train fares, all sensible ideas that will support people in Tameside.
These are some of the priorities that we need to see urgent action on here in Tameside. The Queen’s Speech was an opportunity for the Government to outline a positive agenda for jobs and growth, but yet again it was an opportunity missed.
This article was written for this week’s Tameside Reporter newspaper.