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Queen's Speech slammed by Sunderland MPs over 'failure' to tackle cost of living crisis

MPs and campaigners in the North East have slammed the government’s “failure” to tackle the cost of living crisis and economic stagnation with its flagship policy announcement.

By james harrison
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 11:49 am

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Almost 40 bills or other policy proposals were packed into the latest edition of the Queen’s Speech, traditionally used by ministers to set out their legislative agenda for the coming months.

Eye-catching moves unveiled included measures to force landlords to rent empty high street shop units and a crackdown on “subscription traps” and fake reviews.

But yesterday’s (Tuesday, May 10) State Opening of Parliament, trailed as an attempt by Borish Johnson to get “back on track” after Partygate and a disappointing set of local election results, prompted as many questions over what was missed as on what was included.

Prince Charles during the 2022 State Opening of Parliament

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Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson said: “In the Queen's Speech, we needed a real plan for growth to get our economy firing on all cylinders, with a Climate Investment Pledge and a commitment to buy, make and sell more in Britain.

"Instead, a failure to tackle the cost of living crisis and low growth marks a major economic failure by the Conservatives.”

The ceremonial set-piece, which is written by the Government, was also notable for marking the first time in 59 years it was not delivered by the Queen.

Sunderland MPs Julie Elliott, Bridget Phillipson and Sharon Hodgson

Instead, Prince Charles stood in for what Buckingham Palace described as “episodic mobility problems” for the 96-year-old monarch.

Inflation is forecast to hit a 40-year high later in 2022, at 10%, prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to warn the government would be unable to “completely shield people from the fallout from global events”.

A planned Energy Security Bill will focus on rolling out low carbon and energy efficient heating systems, as well as beef up regulation of the sector, in a bid to drive down price – but ministers have been slammed for doing too little.

Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott said: “Yet again the Tories have missed an opportunity to tackle the cost of living crisis.

“Household bills are going up, fuel costs are going up, economic growth is stagnating, and yet we have a Government devoid of ideas.”

Amanda Bailey, director of the North East Child Poverty Commission, added failure to provide support would “put even greater pressure on overstretched local services”.