Jon Trickett MP: Here are some of the things that I would like to see in the King’s Speech
Jon Trickett MP writes: Although we do not yet know for certain what will appear, there are a few things that are reported to be likely to feature.
The long delayed Renters Reform Bill only made it as far as second reading in the last parliamentary session. This Bill is supposed to give important new rights to tenants, such as scrapping Section 21 evictions which allow landlords to evict their tenants without any good reason.
The Tories have indicated this Bill will be a priority. However, they’ve been saying this for nearly four years. We know they have been lobbied extensively by landlords’ associations who are opposed to some of the proposed changes.
I have repeatedly called on the government to stop the delays. With every month that passes, more and more tenants are made homeless through Section 21 evictions. I hope to see this Bill return to parliament straight after the King’s Speech, otherwise I fear it will be delayed further until it never sees the light of day.
Reports also suggest that the King’s Speech will include some extremely concerning changes to environmental regulations to scrap nutrient neutrality rules, which protects our rivers from pollution. You can be sure that I will resist any attempts to make it easier to pollute our already sewage infested waterways.
Other pieces of legislation that are likely to be announced include Trans-Pacific trade agreements, raising the age of tobacco purchases and leasehold reform. Although I am sceptical about the government’s proposals in these areas, I always look at the details of each piece of legislation extremely carefully and will make a decision on whether to support or oppose them based on their merits.
Here are some of the other things that I would like to see in the King’s Speech:
I would like to see immediate measures to support people who are struggling with the cost of living. In the last year workers’ living standards have plummeted by the biggest amount on record. We need a public sector pay rise and a minimum wage of £15 an hour. For too long our nurses, firemen, railway workers and police officers have faced pay cuts. It’s time we paid them properly for the work they do.
I would like to see proposals for new hospitals and health care centres across the country. Our NHS has been underfunded for 13 years and waiting lists are at record highs. We need a plan to drastically increase access to health care in this country.
I would also like to see legislation to ensure that our schools are safe for children to learn in and to make sure that the RAAC scandal can never happen again.
Finally, I would like to see political reform put firmly on the agenda. Many people recognise that politics simply doesn’t work for them. Power is heavily centralised in Westminster. Local people have little control over the decisions that shape their lives. I’d like to see further devolution to our regions and nations.
I will judge the King’s Speech based on whether it addresses these important issues. I won't be holding my breath.