Queen's Speech 2022: our comment

Tuesday, May 10th 2022

Parliament

The Law Centres Network has a mixed response to the Queen's Speech delivered earlier today.

The speech, delivered by the Prince of Wales in the House of Lords, sets out the government's legislative agenda for the coming parliamentary term. Following the speech, the government has published some additional details relating to the measures mentioned in it.

Nimrod Ben-Cnaan, head of policy and profile at the Law Centres Network, said:

Today’s Queen’s Speech is a missed opportunity to tackle the growing cost-of-living crisis. This crisis affects hardest those who are already disadvantaged, and Law Centres see daily the suffering it causes to our clients and their families. Without significant action on the cost of living, talk of ‘levelling up’ rings hollow, especially as the government has failed to deliver on its promise to strengthen workers’ rights.

Law Centres welcome the government’s intention “to improve the regulation of social housing, to strengthen the rights of tenants and ensure better quality, safer homes” and we await further details of its plans. Britain faces a massive housing shortage that is putting millions of renters in impossible situations. The government aims for better and safer homes, but its measures must also deliver a just housing system. Renters’ rights are a dead letter if they cannot be vindicated in court when needed. There are few drivers of ‘levelling up’ more powerful than real equality before the law.

Law Centres remain strongly opposed to government plans to replace the Human Rights Act. These are pursued with no evidence-backed case for change and despite widespread opposition. Government’s proposals on human rights are a power grab for the Executive at the expense of Parliament, the courts and the public. They will restrict people’s ability to hold public bodies to account, and give cover for unfair policies. Human rights belong to all of us, but the government’s proposals would take rights away from certain groups, claiming  that they are not ‘deserving’ of basic protection. This is an outrage!

The Law Centres Network is also a member of the Renters Reform Coalition, a joint campaign for strengthening renters' rights.

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