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What a welcome contrast this Queen’s Speech is in comparison to the myriad of muddle given by Jeremy Corbyn in his Northamptonshire speech last week.
The Leader of the Opposition took this opportunity to outline his plans to splurge £1.4 trillion of taxpayers’ money (£21,200 for every man, woman and child in this country) on ideologically-driven policies, including an outdated unaffordable mass-nationalisation programme, that would destroy our economy and put people’s jobs and mortgages at risk.
The Queen’s Speech sets out how this Government will address the priorities that people raise with me every week in Dudley South: delivering Brexit, tackling crime and improving health and social care.
Together with record new investment in the NHS, schools and policing announced by the Chancellor last month, these will make a big difference to the services that matter most to us in the West Midlands.
We have to deliver on Brexit and that was at the heart of the Queen’s Speech.
Boris Johnson is committed to respecting the decision taken by the British people that we should leave the EU and enable the UK to regain its sovereignty.
Politicians cannot choose which public votes they respect, and which they ignore.
The Queen announced that we will have laws to ratify a withdrawal agreement if a good deal can be reached with the EU, to end free movement and to take back control over our borders, our farming, our fisheries and our trade.
New laws on health and social care will make sure that the £33.9bn extra being given to the NHS will mean patients have faster and better access to the latest medicines and that people can get the quality mental health support they need, while the action announced to fix the crisis in adult social care cannot come too soon.
Keeping people safe is one of the most important responsibilities of government and this Queen’s Speech delivers.
A total of 20,000 new police officers are being recruited over the next three years – on top of police forces’ existing plans – and there are new laws to crack down on serious violence and domestic abuse, to stop criminals being released halfway through their sentences, to crack down on foreign criminals and to make sure that police officers have the protections that they need and deserve, recognising their bravery, commitment and sacrifice serving the public.
Tougher sentences will help keep our communities safe, and 10,000 extra prison places will make sure criminals are not released simply to make room.
These are just a couple of the Government’s plans to ensure law and order is restored to our communities across the country.
The past nine years have seen tough choices having to be made to get the economy back under control.
The last Labour Government was spending £160billion more a year than it was raising.
Because of this, the amount of interest that government has to pay on its debts each year is now £51bn – about the same amount that central government spends on police and schools.
Getting that deficit under control and building an economy that is growing with more people in work than ever before means that we can spend more on the things that matter most – like an extra £33.9billion for the NHS, £7bn more for schools, nurseries and colleges, and 20,000 more police officers. We cannot afford to throw this progress away.
It looks like we will have an election soon. There aren’t currently enough Conservative MPs for the Government to be confident of passing much of this greatly-needed programme through Parliament.
If the Opposition wish to vote these measures down then the election will be a clear choice between the positive vision and effective reforms in the Queen’s Speech or Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to bankrupt Britain that he set out last week.
I look forward to voters in Dudley South and across the country being given the chance to make that choice.
By Mike Wood, Member of Parliament for Dudley South
First published in the Express and Star on Thursday 17th October 2019