Preet Kaur Gill MP Chair of the Co-operative Party Parliamentary Group and Shadow Cabinet Minister for International Development 9th May 2022 Blog Share Tweet A Queen’s Speech at any time is an important opportunity for the Government of the day to set out its vision for the forthcoming parliamentary year and set the legislative agenda for this to be achieved. But a Queen’s Speech in the midst of several crises including soaring cost of living, energy insecurity, war in Ukraine, and spiralling bills, is particularly vital in giving the Government a chance to seize the moment and outline the many steps it needs to take over the coming year to rise to the challenge. The Co-operative Party continue to offer the necessary ideas that could make a significant difference where it matters most, and it’s essential that these co-operative ideas, principles and values form the bedrock of the legislative agenda that will soon be set out, and frame the decisions taken across the next parliamentary session. Because it’s only by doing so that we can truly ensure that people across the UK have a greater stake and say in the matters that affect them, decisions are made closer to those who they impact, and co-operative solutions are provided to the difficulties people face every day. By hardwiring co-operation through legislative action here in Westminster our society can become fairer and more equitable; instead of being beholden to shareholders and short-termism, a growth in co-operation will work in the interests of its workers, members, customers, consumers, communities, and the environment. As part of the key levelling-up agenda, for instance, the legislation announced should incorporate co-operative values and principles to properly empower communities, giving people a greater stake and say in the decisions that affect their lives. Rather than pitting neighbours and communities against each other for scraps from the Government’s table, our values require funding to be enlarged and devolved, and new powers introduced such as a community right to buy and strengthened community asset protections so people have a real stake in their future. When it comes to the energy crisis, too, the Government should look to the community-owned energy sector, and bring forward legislation that will provide funding and further support for the sector, not only ensuring that we prioritise green renewables and end our dependence on overseas-owned energy, but that the energy producers of tomorrow work in the interests of the customers and communities who rely on it. On these major challenges and so many others like the Right to Food, revitalising our high streets, fair taxation, our commitment to international development, co-operative development, the ideas and solutions championed by our movement can provide much for our answers to them. This Queen’s Speech perhaps more than any in recent memory is critical in providing the framework for how we will tackle the many difficulties the ongoing crises provide. It’s imperative the Government builds on the values and solutions of co-operation within it to meet that challenge.