The Queen’s Speech is meant to showcase what business the Government wants to bring forward over the next year. This year’s Queen’s Speech from the Conservative-led Government was judged one of the weakest lists of Bills for many years.
There was nothing in the speech to help unemployed people in Salford. Earlier, the Government’s Budget had done nothing to deal with the rising costs of food and fuel. What the Budget actually showed us is that the Government is only helping the richest people in our society. George Osborne gave a tax cut to millionaires and to people earning over £150,000. At the same time the Government increased the tax that pensioners have to pay.
Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in Government are out of touch with ordinary people because they are increasing taxes for millions of people to give a tax cut back to millionaires.
The Queen’s Speech also made it clear that this Government has the wrong priorities. The Coalition had promised to bring forward a Bill in Parliament this year to improve the funding of social care. But the Government broke its promise and there is no Bill this year. We will now have to wait 2 years or even longer until we can do something in Parliament to improve the funding of social care.
This is a real blow for tens of thousands of vulnerable people in Salford and for their carers and families. The care system is in crisis. Too many people find their needs are not met and the costs of nursing or residential care can be catastrophic for families. Every year many older people have to sell their homes to pay for care.
The Government asked the economist Andrew Dilnot to look at new and better ways to fund social care. His report came out 10 months ago. Labour and nearly all care organisations support his recommendations. But the Government chooses to ignore the report and do nothing.
The Government should have taken the money set aside for the top-rate tax cut and used it instead to fund a decent system of social care. I call on them to do just that.