Labour to force vote demanding emergency Budget as costs spiral

Elliot Chappell
© UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

Labour is expected to force a binding parliamentary vote calling on the government to bring forward an emergency Budget to help families struggling with spiralling household costs and a plan to “get our economy firing on all cylinders”.

Opening the final day of the Queen’s speech debate for Labour on Wednesday, Rachel Reeves will say that the ‘cost-of-living crisis’ is not “inevitable” but a “consequence of government policies and Conservative choices”.

“Our country faces a cost-of-living crisis, and a growth crisis. Wages are being squeezed, our tax system is unfair and there is no plan for the future of our economy,” the Shadow Chancellor is expected to tell parliament.

“Where is the urgency and the action to remedy this? Labour has a new vision for a fairer and more prosperous economy. That’s why the Conservatives must back our motion today, not just for them to come forward with an emergency Budget to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, but to set out the plan Britain deserves to get our economy firing on all cylinders.”

The government rejected Labour’s amendment to the Queen’s Speech calling for a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies to support struggling families on Tuesday evening. 310 MPs voted against and 248 in favour.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told MPs that ministers are “ready to do more to help” but that it would “reject all opposition amendments to the Queen’s Speech as a matter of precedent” because it is for Rishi Sunak to “introduce fiscal measures and indeed all future decisions on tax will be made… in the usual way”.

Commenting after the vote, Ed Miliband said: “Every Conservative MP who voted against the windfall tax tonight has condemned millions of families to misery and anxiety as they struggle to pay their energy bills.

“Tonight a message has been sent by the government that they will do everything they can to protect the oil and gas companies, and refuse to act to protect families. It says everything you need to know about where the Tories stand.

“This is a government that will never put working people first, will never stand up to the vested interests, and has no answers to the cost-of-living crisis.”

The latest data has the current consumer price index at 7% in the 12 months to March 2022. The Bank of England aims to keep inflation at 2% and adjusts interest rates to achieve this, but has warned that CPI will reach 10% this year.

Below is the full text of the amendment to the Queen’s Speech.

At end add “but respectfully regret that the gracious speech fails to bring forward immediately an emergency Budget to tackle the cost-of-living crisis or to set out a new approach to the economy that will end 12 years of slow growth and high taxation under successive Conservative governments”.

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