The UK Government has set out plans for its next parliamentary term, yet does little to help immediately with the cost of living crisis.

In the Queen’s speech today, delivered by Prince Charles in Her Majesty’s absence, measures aimed at bringing more stability in Northern Ireland, providing greater energy security and stopping seafarers being exploited were among the measures unveiled across 38 bills.

Joined by Prince William and the Duchess of Cornwall, the future monarch set out Boris Johnson's ambitions to 'level up' the country, tackle crime, improve education, further devolution in some areas and stabilise energy markets

Announcing the plans, Prince Charles told the Houses of Parliament: “ My Government’s priority is to grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families.

“My Government will level up opportunity in all parts of the country and support more people into work.”

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However little has been revealed which will help those who are already struggling now, with plans including more investment in businesses, encouraging employment and high-skilled jobs, all of which the Government has previously discussed. 

Prince Charles said ministers would "continue to seize the opportunities of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, to support economic growth."

He added: "Regulations on businesses will be repealed and reformed.

"A bill will enable law inherited from the European Union to be more easily amended.

"Public sector procurement will be simplified to provide new opportunities for small businesses." 

The Prince of Wales also said the government would “bring forward an Energy Bill to deliver the transition to cheaper, cleaner, and more secure energy,”

“This will build on the success of the COP26 Summit in Glasgow last year," the future monarch explained.

The government aims to increase the country’s energy security by “supporting low-carbon energy system” and reducing gas dependence.

 

In Scotland, a bid to establish a carbon capture and storage facility in Aberdeenshire was rejected by Westminster in favour of another bid in the North of England, with SNP MPs outraged at the decision.

These new measures could see a reconsideration or extension of the plans to develop more carbon capture clusters across the UK.

The new energy bill will also pave the way for an extension of the energy price cap, due to expire at the end of 2023.

The Government’s intention to tear up the Human Rights Act and replace it will a new Bill of Rights has also been solidified in today’s announcement, with the Prince of Wales telling the House of Lords: "My Government will ensure the constitution is defended. My Ministers will restore the balance of power between the legislature and the courts by introducing a Bill of Rights."

The Bill aims to reform the legal system to give the UK courts supremacy over European court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Plans state the bill will also make sure "spurious cases do not undermine public confidence in human rights so that courts focus on genuine and credible human rights claims." 

Crucially, the plans state: "The responsibility to demonstrate a significant disadvantage before a human rights claim can be heard in court will be placed on the claimant."

Prince Charles also detailed the government’s plans to strengthen the “integrity of the United Kingdom” and said the ministers would “prioritise support for the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and its institutions, including through legislation to address the legacy of the past.”

The Government aims to bring in a Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, with one of the core elements to be the establishment of a Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery, which would enable individuals and family members to seek and receive information about Troubles-related deaths and serious injuries.

In response to the P&O scandal, which saw the firm sack all of its UK workers and replace them with cheaper staff, the government will introduce the Harbours (Seafarers remuneration) Bill, which aims to protect those working at see with a minimum level of pay “equivalent to the National Minimum wage”.

The Prince of Wales said there would be action to tackle illegal immigration, which has already got underway through Priti Patel's partnership with the Rwandan government to off-short asylum seekers. 

The royal explained: "My Government will protect the integrity of the United Kingdom’s borders and ensure the safety of its people.

"My Ministers will take action to prevent dangerous and illegal Channel crossings and tackle the criminal gangs who profit from facilitating them." 

On benefits, the government aims to bringing a bill which will provide more support for people at the end of their lives who rely on social security.

As previously reported by The Herald, some people who are terminally ill are currently having to prove to the DWP they are unfit for work in order to claim benefits if they have more than six months to live

In the Queen's speech today, the government set out its plans to tackle this with the Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill.

The main change with this bill is that those who are terminally ill and who have 12 months or less to live will be able to have their benefits applications fast-tracked. Previously this applied only to those with six months or less to live.