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Disappointing Queen’s Speech fails those in desperate need now

(31 Posts)
DaisyAnne Tue 10-May-22 21:18:22

I thought we needed to move on from discussing the Queen to discussing the Politics of the speech. This is from a press release. The Verdict from the National Pensioners Convention which I thought would be relevant to many if not most of us.

Comment by Jan Shortt, General Secretary, National Pensioners’ Convention

In the middle of one of the worst cost-of-living crises in living memory the government had a real chance to step up and help those most affected – our oldest and poorest. But today they failed, showing little compassion for the immediate struggles of vulnerable people.

The National Pensioners’ Convention had hoped the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament today (Tuesday, 10th May) would contain measures to provide real, and urgent financial assistance to those overwhelmed by inflationary prices, and a more than doubling of energy bills.

Instead, they outlined legislation promising longer term changes, which frankly will not help those having to choose between buying food or paying their rent or energy bills right now.

People on low and fixed incomes pay a much higher proportion of their income on essentials – there is no way they can find the extra money when costs rise so rapidly.

Spiralling energy costs, rocketing inflation and a succession of government policies which have lowered the real value of pensions and benefits, mean millions more face poverty in the coming months. It is a disaster that is only set to get worse as we approach autumn and another round of energy hikes.

But it is not just government’s lack of provision for the cost-of-living crisis. The NPC has concerns about what they have promised – they are outlined below:

*Order – we are concerned that this will prevent democratic protest by older people in circumstances where government policy undermines the dignity and respect for pensioners. It also must take account of the Bill of Rights.

*Conversion therapy – we disagree with the fact that the ban does not cover transgender and our LGBT working party will be asking for the government to meet with us to listen to our members concerns.

*Energy Security Bill – long term on sustainable energy – been ongoing for years with no progress. What about the poverty and deprivation now?

*Mental Health Bill – not before time but we need to digest whether it will address the amount of funding needed to make it work.

*Bill of Rights – we will monitor. The rights of older people have been seriously eroded in recent years and we will be looking for this to be tackled in any new legislation,

*Financial Services Bill – at last, legislation to give access to cash. However, there is still the issue of banks already closed on high streets. We need to know how the government will support communities where there are no banks and very little transport to get to the nearest one.

*Renters Bill – again long overdue, as an increasing number of older people are among those having to rent in the private sector. Along with the Social Housing Regulation Bill, we would hope to see much needed decent homes standards applied across the board.

*On-Line Harms Bill – needs to put more emphasis on the responsibilities of platform providers who make profit from their services; compensation for those scammed direct from platform providers and more funding to deal with scammers.

I'm neither endorsing this nor disagreeing. I thought it was a good structure for discussion.

You can find the original here

DaisyAnne Wed 11-May-22 07:41:51

Bumping this as I would like to hear thoughts on the content of the Queen's speech.

Galaxy Wed 11-May-22 07:47:59

I have concerns about the online harm bill, I have concerns about the owners of facebook Twitter etc controlling speech it doesnt feel much better when Nadine Dorres is put in charge of that issue.

Parsley3 Wed 11-May-22 08:18:37

I will need to read it. I realise that I have been distracted from its contents by the hoohah surrounding the queen.

winterwhite Wed 11-May-22 08:28:16

I agree it does nothing for generation Ageing, but didn’t expect it to.
To pick up on banks:

They are forcing customers online with very little support for people who find it a worry and a hassle. All this is esp the case for the increasing numbers of people who don’t live near an open branch.

The new authenticating systems re online purchases has been introduced too quickly and with insufficient staff training.

People need to be able to telephone if something goes wrong or to make appointments to discuss their affairs.

Now that there are fewer high street banks more cashiers are needed at the counter during opening hours.

If not, more and more of us will be keeping rolled up bank notes in socks under our beds.

OakDryad Wed 11-May-22 08:32:19

There are a lot of proposed bills to comment on but one positive to mention is Access to Cash. Here's the text:

In the 2020 Budget, the Government announced it would legislate “to protect access to cash and ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable in the long-term.
The Treasury published a consultation document on access to cash on 1 July 2021, setting out its proposals. 
The consultation proposed ensuring there would be “reasonable access” for withdrawal and deposit facilities for personal customers, and deposit facilities for small business customers. It would set and amend geographic access requirements to achieve this. These might, for instance, set targets to

ensure that a certain percentage of the population was within a specified distance of a service point.

The Government proposed giving HM Treasury powers to designate certain firms on which cash access requirements could be imposed. This would initially cover large retail banking providers like banks and building societies.

The Financial Conduct Authority would be given “overarching regulatory oversight of the retail cash system and so would monitor and enforce powers on designated firms. This would formalise and strengthen its oversight of proposals for closing bank branches and ATMs.

Further background is available in the Library briefing The future of local banking services and access to cash.

It’s most likely that any such legislation would be part of a wider Financial Services Bill, as discussed above.

This struck me in the context of this letter in yesterday's paper:

While the writer doesn't mention specifically that the friend she was helping needed the bank for a cash transaction, I know that a transition to a cashless society is of concern for many.

DaisyAnne Wed 11-May-22 09:35:40

On the Housing and Planning side, it does look as if they intend to end no-fault evictions. This would, if it happens, be one step in the direction of houses being homes rather than simply investments.

The government does seem lost however, when it comes to building more affordable homes. On "Today" this morning, Gove admitted that we need them as there is a shortage saying, "and we all know why". Other than this too long reign of Tory governments not building them, I have no idea what that means.

Again on housing, they are stoking the culture wars playing to NIMBY, mainly Tory, voters who are going (if it happens) to get a vote on their neighbour's extension plans. This could be a bit of a curate's egg of a policy but, in my view, some good may come out of it.

volver Wed 11-May-22 09:42:01

Gove this morning on BBC.

I have to say I find him difficult to take seriously.

OakDryad Wed 11-May-22 09:52:26

I recall one of Johnson' many broken election promises was to build 300,000 new homes a year and (like the 40 new hospitals) it isn't happening, nowhere near.

The Renters’ Reform Bill is a long time coming and will be yet.

The Bill was announced during the 2019 Queen’s Speech on 19 December 2019. There is still a commitment to bring a Bill forward to abolish no fault evictions in the private rented sector, but it will be preceded by a white paper which is expected in spring 2022

The Social Housing Regulation Bill includes support for tenants to buy a home of their own, which I assume means right to buy social housing so more homes will go from the public rental sector.

DaisyAnne Wed 11-May-22 10:32:17

I think anything that sounds good needs careful scrutiny, doesn't it OD

I found myself thinking there wasn't much of substance there. I wonder if the Cabinet - assuming Johnson no longer has the final say - think and election will be earlier than two years.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 11-May-22 10:32:51


Gove this morning on BBC.

I have to say I find him difficult to take seriously.


Whitewavemark2 Wed 11-May-22 10:35:30

The big issue I find is taking anything this government says seriously.

They have achieved so little.

DaisyAnne Wed 11-May-22 10:44:55

I agree WWM. I think that every time I look at one of the proposals in the QS, for instance. It is not so much a question of whether they intend to do these things or not but whether they are competent to do them. I see no evidence of any degree of competence. Parliament is about law, first and foremost and they seem to have little understanding of law when it comes to making it or why they should not be breaking it.

The game playing around politics is all they seem interested in and, sadly for them but happily for us, they don't seem all that competent at that, in any practical way, either.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 11-May-22 10:46:19

There are a lot of intentions, but no plans to carry them out.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 11-May-22 10:47:22

It is like Rwanda.

It is generally thought that this is never going to happen.

Everything about the headline and nothing else.

DaisyAnne Wed 11-May-22 12:16:35

The first paragraph in the New Statesman email seems to follow that thinking Whitewave.

We are nearly three years into Boris Johnson’s tenure as prime minister and yet his government still feels like it’s searching for a plan, or perhaps merely for the appearance of one: it’s not clear how bothered Johnson is by the apparent incoherence of his government’s statements and policies.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 11-May-22 12:27:14

Johnson finds detail too boring to bother with, so plans are definitely not his forte. Never mind that it is what is badly needed.

Johnson is only bothered about Johnson.

MaizieD Wed 11-May-22 12:29:07

Sorry not to add anything, DaisyAnne, but every time I see your thread title I think 'Did we expect anything different?'

DaisyAnne Wed 11-May-22 13:39:48

I know Maizie but it has to be better than discussing the Royal family's perceived sartorial errors and believing that's a basis for a political view sad

Just a couple more cribs from the New Statesman email (I will be buying this weeks copy smile)

It is not so much that the Tories have lost their bearings under Johnson as that they never really had any, or that those bearings never all pointed in the same direction.


Rafael Behr captures the inherent conflict in the Guardian: by trying to level up the country or ease the cost of living without sufficiently funding either aim, Johnson, he says, is “trying to cook up egalitarian ends with libertarian means”.

HousePlantQueen Wed 11-May-22 14:42:58


Gove this morning on BBC.

I have to say I find him difficult to take seriously.

presumably someone had wiped the white powder off his collar before he went on air

Smileless2012 Wed 11-May-22 15:16:46

It could also be one step in the direction of fewer homes available to rent from private landlords DaisyAnne. It's notoriously difficult to evict as it is even when there's unpaid rent or a tenants neglect and abuse of property, a situation where a section 21 ie 'no fault' would not be served.

Investment in property provides a place for someone to make their home and if private landlords will only be able to request a tenant leaves if they're at fault, fewer will be prepared to let.

What happens if the landlord wants the property to live in themselves?

We're nearly there, having had to gut and completely re furbish our flat and are undecided whether or not to get another tenant. If we decide not too, possibly having it as an Air B&B or keeping it for occasional use for ourselves and family, that will be one less property available for someone to make their home.

growstuff Wed 11-May-22 15:34:04

How many people can seriously afford to keep two homes for personal use only?

As you wrote, this doesn't affect people who can be evicted for justifiable reasons such as non-payment of rent, but people who have done absolutely nothing wrong.

If a landlord wants to sell the property, he/she will have to sell it with a sitting tenant. If it puts people off becoming BTL landlords, the properties won't disappear and could mean that more properties are available for people to buy or for housing co-operatives, who will be looking to the long term, to buy them.

It could also mean that people start investing in more productive businesses rather than property, which would be good for the economy.

As ever, the devil is in the detail, but if it means the country moves towards a fairer and more secure deal for tenants, it's a good thing.

Smileless2012 Wed 11-May-22 16:05:18

That's the point though growstuff. If it can take a landlord a year or more to evict a troublesome tenant, how can they evict a tenant whose not at fault?

What if they want to live in the property they own themselves?

Not all private landlords are BTL, some own the property they let. I didn't say privately let properties would disappear but there's a distinct possibility they'll be depleted.

Investing in other business ventures may be good for the economy but it wont be good for those looking for homes to rent if there are fewer available.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 11-May-22 16:37:38

Succinct summing up of Johnson’s government

growstuff Wed 11-May-22 16:42:52


That's the point though growstuff. If it can take a landlord a year or more to evict a troublesome tenant, how can they evict a tenant whose not at fault?

What if they want to live in the property they own themselves?

Not all private landlords are BTL, some own the property they let. I didn't say privately let properties would disappear but there's a distinct possibility they'll be depleted.

Investing in other business ventures may be good for the economy but it wont be good for those looking for homes to rent if there are fewer available.

I disagree that the overall housing stock will be depleted. There's a possibility that it might become more affordable, if being a BTL landlord is less attractive. It also means that capital would be diverted to more productive businesses.

If a BTL landlord want to live in the property, he/she should think of that before letting. There is already provision for short term lets.