Luton North MP Sarah Owen responds to 2021 Queen’s Speech to Parliament
Luton North MP Sarah Owen has shared her observations following today's Queen Speech to Parliament, outlining the government's plans.
Proposals to force voters to produce ID in order to take part in elections, as well as push through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, have been met with fierce criticism from opposition parties and campaigners.
Elsewhere, a Health and Care Bill seeks to lay the foundations for a "more integrated, efficient and accountable" health and care system while delivering the NHS’s Long Term Plan.
Other proposals include the High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill to operate the next stage of the HS2 project; and also the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill - which would extend 5G mobile coverage and high-speed broadband, as well as protecting against cyber attacks.
Commenting on the government's plans, MP Sarah Owen described them as a "missed opportunity".
She said: “As we slowly walk out of restrictions, I feel so positive about the potential Luton has to come out of this crisis stronger. For Luton, every part of government needs to be focused on our recovery from the pandemic.
“I was hoping for four main things - an absolute focus on creating jobs and protecting businesses in towns like ours which have been hit hardest by the pandemic; action to close the inequalities in health, work, gender and race that this pandemic has exploited; a proper plan for social care; and a real pay rise for those in our NHS who have been on the frontline of this pandemic.
“On jobs, inequality, social care, and our NHS, this really was a missed opportunity to kick off our recovery.”
“Luton’s economy has been one of the hardest hit by Covid. We’re still waiting to hear how the government plans to build back our aviation industry, and how they’re going to get young people back into work.
“Fixing social care should be a priority, but we got to hear just nine words in the whole speech. The Conservatives make big promises about social care at every election, but what we got today was a complete cop out. We need to see concrete plans for integrating health and social care services, as well as building a social care system which gives dignity to both the people being cared for and those who do the caring.
“Our NHS and social care staff need a pay rise. They’ve sacrificed so much in this pandemic. It’s time they got the reward they deserve.”
“I’m optimistic about Luton’s people and our future as we come out of this pandemic. After this Queen’s Speech, I’ll continue working hard to give everything I’ve got to speak up and fight for people in Luton North."