The Queen’s speech is the product of an exhausted government, lacking in the people’s trust which skirted around the big issues of the economy, depressed incomes, unemployment and the housing crisis.
That was the verdict of Unite, the country’s biggest union, as the coalition unveiled its meagre programme for the final year of this parliament.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Ministers, devoid of imagination, are limping towards next year’s general election with no real solutions to tackle the big issues that matter to working people and their families.
“With 11 months to go, the people of this country, impoverished by policies that have seen the greatest fall in living standards since the 1870s, can look forward to a legislative programme tinkering around the edges of the big issues, such as charging for plastic bags and elections to national parks’ authorities.
“There are no initiatives to tackle the cost of living crisis, bring work to the jobless and embark on a massive house building programme – ministers are skirting around the things that matter to millions of British citizens.
“The financial meltdown of the NHS did not merit one word from this government.
“The crackdown on bosses that don’t pay the national minimum wage is one of the few rays of hope in this programme for working people.
“A recent poll said that 50 per cent of people thought that the government has run out of ideas – and we can see with our very eyes as Tory and Liberal Democrat ministers turn on each other with dislike and frustration over Europe and education policy.
“And there is the question of trust. We have had four years of painful austerity for all – but the only beneficiaries have been the rich and wealthy who have gained from George Osborne’s tax regime.”
Unite said there were a number of initiatives on pensions, tax-free childcare, tackling ‘modern slavery’ and infrastructure that were welcomed, but ‘the devil was in the detail’ and there was no guarantee that they would be implemented before next May’s election.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 and/or the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.