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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Queen’s Speech: failure to tackle cost of living crisis undermines any plan to grow the economy, warns IPPR

Legislative programme amounts to ‘cosmetic surgery for an economy facing a heart attack’, says leading think tank

Dr George Dibb, head of the IPPR Centre for Economic Justice, said:

“The government has called this a Queen’s Speech to ‘grow the economy’ but there is disturbingly little in their legislative programme that will make a real difference. Faced with last week’s warning from the Bank of England that the economy will shrink later this year and throughout 2023, it beggars’ belief the government plan to take such limited action to prevent this.

“The British economy is facing a second lost decade and this isn’t going to be prevented by some cosmetic cutting of Brexit red tape that businesses don’t even want. This crisis calls for a major restructuring of the UK economy to drive higher wages, productivity, innovation, investment, and faster decarbonisation. But the main brake on the economy in the short-term is shrinking household budgets as a consequence of the failure to tackle the cost of living crisis. Today’s Queen’s Speech contains almost nothing for families who are struggling to make ends meet.”

Luke Murphy, IPPR associate director for energy and climate, said:

“This Queen’s Speech fails to offer the relief that millions of households need as they struggle with rising energy bills and the cost-of-living crisis. The government appears to be in denial about the scale of the hit to incomes people face across the country.

“As with the government’s energy strategy, the proposals set out today also fail to offer the longer-term reform needed to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. It doesn’t provide the backing needed for the cheapest and quickest form of clean energy in onshore wind and it won’t do anything to make our homes warmer and reduce energy demand.

“A government adviser has said that the government ‘has offered enough pain relief’ and that the Queen’s Speech is the ‘surgery the economy needs’. But the truth is the government is offering paracetamol and cosmetic surgery for an economy that is facing a heart attack.” 



David Wastell, Director of News and Communications: 07921 403651 [email protected]

Robin Harvey, Senior Digital and Media Officer: 07779 204798 [email protected]


  1. Last year the IPPR Centre for Economic Justice published the report Prosperity and Justice after the pandemic which set out how the economy could be set on a path to sustainable growth and rebalance power in the economy

IPPR is the UK’s pre-eminent progressive think tank. With more than 40 staff in offices in London, Manchester and Edinburgh, IPPR is Britain’s only national think tank with a truly national presence.