Our country’s economy, politics and society are faced with the most difficult problems for a generation. Yesterday’s Queen’s Speech was our Government’s last opportunity to get to grips with them.
That opportunity was wasted. Tackling the debt crisis? Just pass another law and it will magically go away. Reforming MPs’ pay and expenses? They didn’t even mention it in the speech, but pressure from the Conservatives forced them to U-turn later on.
And to top it off, unbelievably, they’re cutting disability benefits for the oldest and most vulnerable members of our society. We’re not going to let them get away with this. Please sign our petition and send it to your friends and colleagues.
Above all, this Queen’s Speech showed that as well as running out of time and money, this Government has completely run out of ideas. It’s been up to the Conservatives to provide those ideas – and today we’re announcing another one.
As you’ll see in the above preview of this evening’s Party Political Broadcast, one of the problems that people raise with me time and time again is that when community amenities are threatened with closure – amenities like libraries, sports centres, pubs and post offices – they feel powerless to do anything about it.
That’s why we’re announcing that the next Conservative Government will introduce a “community right-to-buy” – just as the last one introduced the right to buy council houses. This means that local people and organisations will be given first refusal to take over community amenities for the benefit of the community.
That’s the kind of idea our country needs. Not only will it save thousands of buildings and services – it will help to preserve the social fabric that our quality of life depends on.