There was nothing in the King’s Speech to deliver the jobs, investment and hope that the country needs

7 November 2023

The King has delivered his first King’s Speech as monarch, setting out the government’s legislative programme for the coming year.

There was no Employment Bill in the programme, despite one being promised at the start of this government.  There was also precious little to address the cost-of living-crisis which so many people are facing.

Mike Clancy, General Secretary of Prospect, said:

“This King’s Speech was a missed opportunity to show working people that the government understands the pressures of inflation, wages and living costs over the past few years.

“There was nothing in this speech to deliver the jobs, investment and hope that the country needs either to tackle the cost-of-living crisis or create new opportunities in science, technology and engineering.

“This is now clearly a lame duck administration for workplace rights.

“Working people will need to look to beyond the next election for any hope of improvement.”

On energy, the government promised to invest in renewables and improve connectivity with the grid. It also announced that there would be an annual round of licences awarded for North Sea Oil drilling.

Sue Ferns, Senior Deputy General Secretary of Prospect, added:

“Workers, employers and investors in the energy industry want to see a government serious about rising to the huge challenge of decarbonising and electrifying our economy.

“The commitment to reform grid connections is welcome but we also need urgent action to revitalise the auction process for offshore wind developments, secure a just transition for energy communities, address the workforce crisis in electricity networks, and to set out a clear funded plan for new nuclear development over the next 20 years.

“Rather than addressing these challenges, the government has chosen to focus its legislative, political and civil service resources on political point scoring over drilling in the North Sea.”