Karin Smyth – MP for Bristol South – has given her verdict on the Queen’s Speech as “empty rhetoric, bereft of solutions to the cost-of-living crisis”. She has called once more on the Government to implement an Emergency Budget before more Bristolians are forced into fuel and food poverty.
Not only does the Queen’s Speech fail to address the Bank of England’s revised inflation figures of 10% or that growth will slow to a devastating 1.5% it fails to keep communities safe.
Since 2019 alone, 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. The Victims Bill has now been promised in 4 Queen’s Speeches and 3 manifestos, but never delivered. Even now the Government have only pledged to draft a Bill – not actually bring it into force.
On the much-lauded Levelling Up agenda the Government failed to announce anything new in the Queen’s Speech. It will in effect be marking its own homework with 12 “missions” lacking new money or ideas. More rhetoric not backed up with action.
Nearly five years on from the horrific Grenfell Tower fire, legislation to improve conditions and safety in social housing and ensure the concerns of tenants are listened to is long overdue. But the Queen’s Speech gave little indication of a long-term solution. Karin Smyth has raised concerns that the Social Housing Regulations Bill may fail to achieve the desired goal to drive up standards in social housing.
Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:
“Our country is at a crossroads. We needed a transformative agenda that tackled climate change, drove up standards in housing and improved rights at work. Most of all we needed measures that would relieve the chronic Conservative cost-of-living crisis.
“What we got instead was a Queen’s Speech full of empty rhetoric, bereft of solutions for the cost-of-living crisis. Inflation is now expected to reach levels not seen since the early 1990s and living standards sliding into abysmal levels witnessed in the 1970s.
“An Emergency Budget is now the only recourse left to us as the Government have been asleep at the wheel. They need to adopt Labour’s plans of a windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas producers, cut VAT on energy and improve people’s homes to slash the cost of heating their homes. There is much more that can be done, but as we’ve seen the Government prefers inertia over action.”