At 96 years of age, the Queen had not missed the state opening of Parliament in nearly 60 years. The single two times she missed it were during her pregnancies in 1959 and 1963. On Tuesday, the Prince of Wales delivered the speech on Her Majesty’s behalf. She ‘reluctantly’ made this decision after she followed advice from the royal doctors due to her ‘episodic mobility problems.’ The monarch had supposedly watched the nine-minute speech televised from Windsor Castle.
According to Sky News, Prince Charles has reiterated the UK Government’s priority to “grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families.” It will be through measures introduced later in the year. However, they stated that there was no immediate extra help for households was announced.
The speech mainly focused on stabilizing the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic while also addressing the upsurge in cost of living. The Prince of Wales said, “My government will level up opportunity in all parts of the country and support more people into work.”
There has already been a £22 billion help package announced for energy bills, tax cuts, and extra measures for families, as reported by Sky News. However, Boris Johnson warned that inflation is speculated to reach its highest in 40 years this year. Thus, there could be difficulty in shielding everybody from the rise.
Sky News stated that the speech contained 38 bills in total. Seven of which will scrap any remaining European Union regulations. These include a British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act, Brexit freedom bills to get rid of any current EU legislation, a Schools Bill for England; a clampdown on truancy and changes in education funding, an Energy Bill to build up to eight nuclear power stations and a Transport Bill for more reliable railway services.
Mr. Johnson tweeted following the speech, “This is a Queen’s Speech to get our country back on track and ensure that we deliver on the promises we made at the start of this Parliament. Focussing on the priorities of the British public, growing the economy, safer streets, and supporting the NHS to clear the COVID backlogs.” For the next six days, MPs in the House of Commons will be debating the contents of the speech.
The Liberal Democrats believe that the speech did not address all the matters that it should have. Sky News quoted Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer, who said, “[the speech was] bereft of ideas or purpose.” Similarly, The Liberal Democrat’s Sir Ed Davey added, “The Conservatives have failed to deliver a cut to VAT that would have saved families an average of £600, failed to help pensioners, and failed to help the most vulnerable in our society.”
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