Unite: Queen's Speech 'skirts around big issues'

The Unite union has accused the Government of "skirting around the big issues facing the UK" in the coalition's legislative programme announced in the Queen’s Speech.

It welcomed initiatives to crackdown on bosses that don’t pay the national minimum wage, pensions, tax-free childcare, tackling ‘modern slavery’ and infrastructure.

However, it said that "the devil was in the detail" and there was no guarantee they would be implemented before next May’s election.

With 11 months to go, the people of this country, impoverished by policies that have seen the greatest fall in living standards since the 1870s, can look forward to a legislative programme tinkering around the edges of the big issues, such as charging for plastic bags and elections to national parks’ authorities.

There are no initiatives to tackle the cost of living crisis, bring work to the jobless and embark on a massive house building programme – ministers are skirting around the things that matter to millions of British citizens.

The financial meltdown of the NHS did not merit one word from this government.

– Unite general secretary Len McCluskey

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Pension reforms announced in Queen's Speech 2014

Plans for giant "pooled" pension schemes with the potential to boost people's chances of getting a better retirement outcome have been unveiled in the Queen's Speech. The legislation will enable "collective schemes" that spreads risk between members.