Jim McGovern criticises “disappointing” Queen’s Speech

Today (Wednesday 4th June) the Queen delivered her annual speech outlining the government’s legislative plan for the coming year. The speech takes place during the state opening of parliament at which the parliamentary year commences. This will be the last Queen’s speech before the general election in 2015.

The speech outlined plans to introduce charges for plastic bags in England, confirmed pension reforms which were announced in the last budget, reforms to childcare payments, new laws to protect service personnel who face discrimination and legislation to tackle human trafficking and modern slavery, among other measures.

Jim McGovern said;

“Today’s Queen’s speech was disappointing. The people of Dundee are looking for leadership and for a change in direction to help them cope with the cost of living crisis and to make work pay. The Coalition Government have revealed that they are unable to provide that. This speech was more notable for what was absent rather than for what it contained.”

“There were however some welcome announcements; the Modern Slavery Bill, increased payments for working parents to help them afford childcare and legal protection for service personnel who face discrimination are all things I am keen to support. Sadly however these announcements alone are insufficient to tackle the many great problems the nation is facing.”

“The scale of the challenges Britain faces requires an ambitious plan in order to confront them. I am firmly behind Labour’s plan to tackle zero-hour contracts, to freeze energy bills and fundamentally reform the energy market as well as making work pay more through the living wage. Alongside Labour’s plan to drastically increase house building and plans to increase powers for Scotland as part of the union, I believe these bread and butter reforms will have a significant and positive impact for the people of Dundee.”

“It is clear that this Tory-led government do not have the ambition or the willingness to tackle all of these challenges, and the SNP are too distracted by the referendum to use the powers they already have to address the issues which are devolved to their responsibility.”

“The only solution is a Labour government in Westminster, backed by a Labour administration in Holyrood. The people of Dundee will have the opportunity to achieve these improvements in under a year if they vote for the union and vote Labour next May. Today’s Queen’s speech made that choice all the more necessary.”