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Norfolk MP James Wild: Queen’s Speech in new Parliament session and support for rising energy bills



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The opening of a new session of Parliament is an important moment setting out the government’s legislative programme.

In this Platinum Jubilee year, it was obviously disappointing, although understandable, that the Queen was reluctantly unable to deliver the Queen’s Speech.

The backdrop to the speech was challenging to say to the least. First, dealing with the profound impact of Covid and the damaging effect it has had on so many lives and the incredible toll it placed on the economy. Now, we are dealing with war in Europe following Putin’s illegal attack on Ukraine. The UK is rightly playing a leading role in helping Ukraine to defend herself.

Lord David Cholmondeley, far right, takes his place with Prince William, the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Lord David Cholmondeley carries the crown ahead of the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at the opening of Parliament. (Ben Stansell/PA)
Lord David Cholmondeley, far right, takes his place with Prince William, the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Lord David Cholmondeley carries the crown ahead of the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at the opening of Parliament. (Ben Stansell/PA)

Although the economy bounced back and unemployment is back to pre-crisis levels, this conflict is adding to global pressures that is resulting in everyone experiencing rising bills. Additional support has been put in place to help with energy and other costs including a £150 council tax rebate, cut in fuel duty, increases in the National Living Wage worth £1,000 a year for a full-time worker, and increases in the national insurance threshold benefiting 30 million people.

More support will be needed to ease the immediate burden. But action is also needed to bring down costs over the long term. That’s why the focus of this Queen’s Speech is on boosting economic growth. That is the only sustainable way to address the cost of living and to create the conditions for businesses to offer more high wage, high skills jobs.

A new Levelling Up Bill will help drive local growth and capture more of the value of new developments with a levy to deliver the schools, GPs, and other services that additional homes require. Councils will get powers to bring empty high street shops back into use.

James Wild at Westminster Hall.
James Wild at Westminster Hall.

To give people the best opportunity to make the most of their talents a Schools Bill will raise standards and ensure funding is allocated fairly whether schools are rural, or urban. The introduction of the Lifelong Loan Entitlement will enable adults to access training throughout their working life.

To reduce exposure to volatile global prices, the Energy Security Bill will accelerate the transition to more secure, more affordable, and cleaner homegrown energy supplies while extending the energy price cap beyond 2023. The recent disruption to fuel supplies we experienced locally when protestors glued or locked themselves on to tankers will be tackled with new powers for the police. A new UK Infrastructure Bank will utilise its £22 billion financial capacity to support growth and improve connections.

Outside of the EU, bureaucratic rules will be removed, procurement will be simplified to benefit smaller British firms, and the UK’s – and Norfolk’s – leading role in agri-tech will be bolstered by unlocking gene-editing technology for the farming sector.

While we deal with short term pressures, the focus is on growing the economy, safer streets, and tackling the NHS’ Covid backlog.

James Wild



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