Britain needs a change of direction and last week’s Queen’s Speech was an opportunity for the government to set out how it was going to meet the big challenges facing our country. It was an opportunity missed.
Instead we got a speech that was thin on ideas, thin on ambition and thin on policies that will meet Britain’s challenges.
There are big issues facing our country such as how to help the five million people in Britain who are now low paid or how to build the two million new homes that current trends suggest we’ll need by 2020. But and after four long years of coalition government, all we got was more of the same from the Tories and Lib Dems who have run completely out of steam.
I know from speaking to people in Tameside and Stockport that many are concerned about earning enough to make ends meet, being able to pay their energy bills, getting on the housing ladder and affording decent childcare.
Yet this Queen’s Speech either doesn’t deal with these issues or else barely scratches the surface of how to really deal with them. People in Tameside and Stockport want and deserve much more.
That’s why Labour has set out plans that will make a real difference for people here.
The next Labour government will make work pay by rewarding hard work with a higher minimum wage. We will freeze energy bills until 2017 and reform the energy market. We will get 200,000 homes built a year by 2020, end rip-off letting fees and making three-year tenancies the norm. And we will take action to stop local workers’ wages being undercut by banning recruitment agencies that use only overseas workers and through proper enforcement of the minimum wage.
There were some areas of the Queen’s Speech that Labour welcomes such as on pensions and childcare. But only Labour recognises that the scale of the challenges we face means we need a new direction for Britain.
We’ll make the system work for all instead of just a few at the top and ensure we’re equipped to meet the challenges we face now and in the future.
Britain needs a change of direction. We can’t afford to carry on as before with a business-as-usual attitude. Only Labour understands the big issues facing people in Tameside, Stockport and across the country, and only Labour has the polices that will meet these challenges.