'Slim pickings and missed opportunities'

By Baroness Sharon Taylor OBE | 14 November 2023

I found it both an honour and quite daunting to be asked to respond for the Opposition to the House of Lords’ King’s Speech debate on Home Affairs, Crime, Justice, and Devolution. It had been an extraordinary privilege and experience to participate in the first such ‘Gracious Address’ (by a serving King) for 70 years and to witness at first hand a ceremony so valued as part of our history and tradition.

Even so, we were are all aware of the wider context and the horrors taking place in the Middle East and Ukraine.  Closer to home, we know that people across our country are struggling with the combined impact of the worst cost of living crisis in living memory, a severe and worsening housing crisis, and public services brought to their knees by thirteen years of austerity. And all of this has seen the economy, opportunities and aspirations steadily decline leaving people and communities feeling cut adrift.

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Politics Housing Devolution Autumn Statement Austerity governance Levelling up Cost of living



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