Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.Donate to our crowdfunder
I am grateful for the opportunity to speak in this debate. I suggest to the House that this year's Queen's Speech, rather than being overshadowed by bad news, was illuminated by good news: the announcement on that day that unemployment was down by almost 50,000. That continued the trend in the past 12 months of a reduction in unemployment of 300,000. Coupled with the underlying rate of inflation, which is now 2 per cent. and the lowest for 20 years, that means that we have all the ingredients for a long and sustained recovery. The two factors of falling unemployment and low inflation demonstrate that the Government's economic strategy is working well.
Against the background that I have outlined, I welcome the Queen's Speech. Although it is less radical than most Queen's Speeches since 1979, it will consolidate past successes by building on the already successful privatisation of the gas industry, which is recognised now as a world leader, by improving the help available for the out of work through the new job seeker's allowance and by introducing new social reforms to tackle discrimination, improve the care of the mentally ill—which will be welcomed very much in Leicestershire—and improve the management of the national health service.
I represent a seat in the middle of England. It is not a traditional Conservative shire seat, but one that was Liberal and then Labour until 1970. Indeed, if Lord Wyatt of Weeford, the former Labour Member, had preached the philosophy that he preaches today, particularly when he writes in The News of the World, perhaps history would have taken a different course.