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Queen’s Speech: No indication of whether workers’ lives will improve

MINISTERS have crammed the Queen’s Speech with vague promises that have no bearing on whether the lives of working people would improve over the next parliament, unions said yesterday.

The priorities for the government included Bills concerning Brexit, including the creation of a standalone UK customs regime and limiting immigration of EU nationals.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said that new laws should have included banning zero-hours contracts and making gig economy bosses treat workers fairly.

"There isn’t anything in this Queen’s Speech to end the year-on-year real-terms pay cuts that are hitting brave and dedicated public servants and pushing nurses into using foodbanks," she stormed.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said that there was a deafening silence on the 1 per cent public-sector pay cap.

"No word either on the need to significantly boost the minimum wage and put money in people’s wallets to stop the longest period of falling real-terms pay since the Napoleonic wars."

Housing issues were also "kicked into the long grass" with a draft bill on letting fees, he said.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash criticised the government for failing to tackle problems caused by privatisation and fragmentation of rail while ignoring staff concerns.

He said: "This is a flimsy piece of work from a minority government with no mandate and no ideas."

lamiatsabin@peoples-press.com

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