“What’s actually in it to make their quality of life better – to help them with the cost of living, to support public services, to improve public transport – and the answer is nothing.”
By Patrick Foley, Labour Outlook
This week saw the Kings’ Speech take place, the state opening of parliament where the Government of the day is able to outline it’s political priorities for the period ahead. With the Tories set to lose the next election, Charles’ first King’s Speech as monarch laid out policies that are unlikely to progress and more likely to be the Tory taking points ahead of the General Election.
Matt Willgress, Labour Outlook and Arise: A Festival of Left Ideas sat down with Rebecca Long-Bailey MP to discuss the announcements made in the King’s Speech and look at what issues were left untouched.
You can watch the interview in full below:
Rebecca Long-Bailey, who served as Shadow Minister for State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under Jeremy Corbyn, cited the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill as her main concern from the speech stating that it “completely undermined the Government’s so called commitment to Net-Zero.”
“What’s even more staggering is that this announcement came hot on the heels of yet more reports of rampant profiteering in the energy sector.”
Long-Bailey argued that what we should have seen instead of this bill announcement was an end to profiteering in the energy sector through tough price regulation, an end to private sector control of our energy assets, and the promotion and development of public infrastructure for a green transition.
Discussing what has been left out of the speech Rebecca stated that people in her constituency will look at these announcements and wonder “what’s actually in it to make their quality of life better – to help them with the cost of living, to support public services, to improve public transport – and the answer is nothing.”
She also listed other key omissions such as the Mental Health Bill, which was a manifesto promise in 2017 and 2019, and the much anticipated Conversion Therapy ban.
What should have been included then? Rebecca argued for a plan to tackle in work-poverty, support for renters including rent controls, the settlement of public sector pay disputes, a program for energy bill support over the winter (paid for by taxing the big oil and gas giants) and measures to address skyrocketing food prices.
Tackling Sunak’s claim that he was going to grow the economy, Long-Bailey explained there was no detail in the speech for how that would happen. “For that to happen, you need to invest in the tools that increase productivity: public services, skills, infrastructure, research and development and industry through Green New Deals and big sector proposals.”
“The Government should have looking at how it’s going to fund our public services properly… that means they should have been taxing fairly. That means higher windfall taxes on oil and gas profits and it also means looking at a tax on income from wealth.”
Watch the interview and hear Rebecca Long-Bailey’s demands in full here.
- You can watch the full interview with Rebecca Long-Bailey MP on the Arise Festival YouTube channel here.
- Rebecca Long-Bailey is the MP for Salford and Eccles and a regular contributor for Labour Outlook. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and twitter.
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