Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick says the Queen’s Speech was just hot air


- Credit: Archant

Last Wednesday the House of Commons returned for the grand State Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech.

The Queen’s Speech is always an important occasion, as well as being full of tradition and history it kicks off a new session of Parliament and gives us a taste of what’s in store for the year ahead. But after all was said and done on Wednesday I couldn’t help feel it just wasn’t enough. This year’s speech was an opportunity for the Government to tackle the huge challenges Britain faces and to address the concerns people are expressing all over the country.

There were some very important announcements which I supported – for example tackling modern slavery and creating an ombudsman for our armed forces. I also welcome the measures on pensions and childcare, though I would have liked the Government to do bit more on both.

However, there was nothing in the Queen’s Speech to help people financially, even though energy bills have risen by almost £300; nothing for the 9 million people who rent in the private rented sector and nothing to ensure people working regular hours month after month get a regular, rather than zero hours, contract. On immigration, the Queen’s Speech does nothing to tackle the undermining of wages or the enforcement of the minimum wage. There was not even a mention of the NHS, even though A&E is in crisis and people are finding it harder to get a GP appointment.

My wish list would’ve been a ‘make work pay’ Bill to reward hard work, a banking Bill to support small businesses, a community Bill to devolve more power, an immigration Bill to stop workers being undercut, a consumers Bill to freeze energy bills, a housing Bill to tackle the housing crisis and an NHS Bill to make it easier for people to see their GP and stop privatisation in its tracks. That’s all just for starters, we’re hearing a lot of talk about people’s deep dissatisfaction with politics and the Queen’s speech is an opportunity for something new but all we had the other week was a lot of hot air.

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