Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Government Pledges to 'Restore Economic Stability'

By Ben Aulakh

The government has re-stated its commitment to 'economic growth, reducing the deficit and restoring economic stability.'

In the 59th Queens Speech to be delivered to parliament, the government re-iterated its promise to deal with the budget deficit and get the economy moving again.

However the vow comes amid the second consecutive quarter of negative growth in the country, and the Coalitions hammering in the recent Local Elections.

The British economy contracted by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year, on the back of a further decline of 0.2 per cent in the final 3 months of 2011.

The Conservatives are also currently lagging around ten points behind Labour in the opinion polls.

However the Defence Minister Phillip Hammond, appearing on the BBC’s One o clock News reiterated the government’s promise to sort out the British economy.

“Our first priority is jobs creation, growth and getting real incomes and earnings rising again.

Liz Kendall, Shadow Minister for Care and Older People, appearing on the BBC News Channel criticised the government failing to offer an alternative to the current economic malaise.

““We are seeing no change from the government in this speech, for families up and down the country the government offers no real hope for the challenges we face as a country.”

“We haven’t got the jobs and growth that we need and unless the Coalition takes more action to tackle the inequality in living standards, unless they focus on the central issues of tackling economy and economic growth they will have failed.

The Queen also outlined the long-awaited plans for reform of the House of Lords, as well as the much-criticised cuts to public sector pensions, and increasing the age at which people retire.

Mark Serwotka General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union has slated the government’s commitment to ‘plough on with unpopular and unnecessary cuts’ to public sector pensions.

“Confirmation in the Queen's speech that the government intends to plough on with unpopular, unnecessary and unfair cuts to public sector pensions is disappointing but not unexpected.

“Ministers have consistently refused to negotiate with us over the key issues of forcing public servants to pay more and work longer for less in retirement.”

“With the country back in recession and unemployment remaining high it is clear to everyone that austerity isn't working; instead of more cuts we desperately need investment in jobs and public services to get our economy moving again.”

Plans to repeal unnecessary business legislation, which could make it easier to companies to hire and fire workers, were also outlined.

Mr Serwotka added, “The government's plans laid out today show that it is more committed to carrying on with damaging cuts and simply making it easier for businesses to throw more people out of work.”

Recommendations from the Independent Commission on Banking will also be implemented, increasing the levels of banking regulation, and making big bank bailouts less likely in the future.

The government also committed to the creation of a green bank to fund renewable energy and sustainable businesses.

There will also be greater use of closed proceedings for court cases involving issues of national security, alongside measures to allow police and intelligence agencies to monitor people’s private emails, internet use and telephone calls 

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