DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Tax cuts can ease the living squeeze, PM

This year’s Queen’s Speech was heavy with symbolism.

For the first time in nearly six decades, the monarch, 96, was unable to present her government’s plans for the coming year.

Her throne was empty and Prince Charles, her son and heir, conducted proceedings – a poignant glimpse into the future.

But this was also the first chance since the pandemic for Boris Johnson to set out his vision for Britain’s future.

There was no faulting his rhetoric. The Prime Minister accurately identified all the main problems we face. 

He pledged to ease the cost of living crisis, level up the regions, grow the economy, and – crucially – reduce debt ‘while reforming and cutting taxes’.

The big question is: Does he have the resolve and wherewithal to turn his promises into reality?

There are some welcome initiatives. Mr Johnson promises a crime crackdown, especially against the road-blocking eco-zealots. There are proposed powers to make it easier to kick out illegal immigrants.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during the first day of a debate on the Queen’s Speech in the House of Commons

The PM has sounded the death knell for the lackadaisical ‘work from home’ culture. And by scrapping draconian legislation which would have imposed ruinous legal costs on newspapers in libel cases, the Government will strengthen the free Press.

(For let’s not forget that without inquisitive, probing newspapers, Sir Keir Starmer’s rank Beergate hypocrisy would never have been exposed.)

But for all its good intentions the Government will be judged on how it deals with the overwhelming issue of the day – alleviating the squeeze on families. 

Boris says he’s going to help those suffering genuine hardship because of soaring bills.

But where is the passionate commitment to the truly Tory solution? Promises won’t keep the wolf from the door, but tax cuts can at least keep it at bay.

Rishi Sunak claims to be a low-tax Chancellor but has raised the burden to its highest level since the 1950s. 

The Treasury is raking in record revenues. It’s surely time to give some of that money back.

But Mr Sunak must not leave it too late. Struggling families need help right now.

What a French farce

Ever since we left the EU, French president Emmanuel Macron has done nothing but bad-mouth this country and cause unnecessary trouble.

He smeared the brilliant Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine (costing lives), threatened to cut off electricity supplies to Jersey and refused to engage meaningfully in tackling the Channel migrant crisis.

He described Brexit as a ‘catastrophic error’ and called Boris Johnson ‘un clown’.

Yet now, seemingly, he wants to be friends, proposing we join a ‘new European political community’. 

Boris Johnson, left, speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron prior to a meeting of the Group of Seven at NATO headquarters in Brussels in March

Boris Johnson, left, speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron prior to a meeting of the Group of Seven at NATO headquarters in Brussels in March

What part of Brexit doesn’t he understand? It was the imperial ambitions of Brussels that made us want to leave.

Why would we now rejoin by the back door, poor relations in a two-tier Europe, without even the full trading benefits?

This is nothing more than a cynical ploy to encourage Remainers that a future EU-friendly British government (perhaps led by Starmer?) would be welcomed back.

Instead of playing these transparent power games, the French president should accept the new Anglo-French relationship and do his utmost to make it work.

Curbing tech cowboys

Three cheers for ministers for promising legislation to curb the power of tech giants including Google and Facebook.

These firms will be forced to pay media organisations a fair price for news content which helps drive their vast profits.

For far too long, the cowboys of Silicon Valley have abused their dominant positions to exploit high-quality journalism.

It’s high time they were reined in.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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