BORIS Johnson has been criticised for missing the chance to tackle the cost of living crisis in the Queen's speech today.

Critics say the speech, which sets out the government's plans for the next parliamentary term, provides nothing to help people struggling to put food on the table now, despite the document claiming it does so. 

Published today, and delivered by Prince Charles in the Houses of Parliament, the Queens speech claims the government's "priority is to grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families."

However the plans contain many previously-announced policies on levelling-up and investment schemes, such as Free Ports and City Deals, with little by way of new plans to help those in the short term.

Delivering the shortest Queen's speech in a decade, the Prince of Wales announced measures to stabilise energy prices, tackle 'illegal' immigration and invest in business.

But campaigners and opposition politicians have criticised the measures, arguing that thousands of people need help right now as the cost of food and energy continues to rise. 

The SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: "Beyond the pomp, ceremony and rhetoric, the Queen's Speech offered nothing to help people who are suffering under a Tory-made cost-of-living crisis and are struggling to make ends meet.

"This was not just a missed opportunity - it was a political choice by a broken Tory government to sit on its hands while we face the biggest inflationary crisis in 50 years."

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, said the Speech showed the government was "neglecting rural communities".

He said: "This Queen’s Speech does nothing to help the millions of families and pensioners facing soaring bills and eye watering inflation. The Conservatives have failed to deliver a cut to VAT that would have saved families an average of £600, failed to help pensioners and failed to help the most vulnerable in our society.

“The Conservatives are continuing to neglect rural communities. There was nothing in these plans to support farmers on the brink, to tackle soaring ambulance waiting times and GP shortages, or to stop the dumping of filthy sewage into our river and seas." 

While Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, said that not only do the plans ignore the immediate crisis, they also fail to improve the situation in future.

He said: "People want a UK Government that believes in compassion and justice, and in making sure everyone can live a dignified life. This Queen’s Speech has failed to live up to those values."

He added: "This Queen’s Speech shows that the UK Government still hasn’t got the courage to make the changes we need. They have failed to put forward a vision for our future, failed to have compassion for people, and failed to promise the economic justice we all need.”

Economic growth plans were also lacking in the Queen's speech, according to Dr George Dibb, head of the IPPR Centre for Economic Justice think tank.

He said there was "disturbingly little in their legislative programme that will make a real difference" and added: " 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."

Business leaders gave a mixed reaction to the government's measures, however, with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcoming some of the plans.

Martin McTague, chairman of the FSB, said: “It was good to hear a pro-enterprise address today, but it’s now time to turn kind words into action.

“Firms need the Government to deliver quickly on levelling-up commitments through plans for devolution, infrastructure investment and regulatory reform.

“To date, a combination of a disappointing Shared Prosperity Fund settlement, rolling back of HS2 plans and withdrawal of the New Enterprise Allowance has left many in target areas feeling underwhelmed."

He said the plans to set up a new infrastructure bank and improve broadbad had to happen quickly, and said so far the Prime Minister's levelling-up plans have been "too vague to have any meaningful impact".