Queen's Speech reflects 'pro-aspiration' agenda - MP

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Part one of the debate can be viewed here.

A former Conservative minister has hailed the Queen's Speech as "pro-business, pro-work, pro-aspiration".

Mark Hoban, who served as financial secretary to the Treasury until 2012, singled out measures to boost housing supply and to reform the country's pensions system as particular highlights.

"I believe that over the course of the last four years this government has made huge strides towards helping people realise aspirations of work, of a home of their own, of savings, and we should continue this work…into the next Parliament," the Fareham MP said.

MPs were debating the contents of the loyal address on 4 June 2014, focusing on the cost of living, energy and housing.

Labour's Gisela Stuart highlighted the importance of cities as "engines" of economic growth, and expanded on remarks made by party colleague and Communities and Local Government Committee chair Clive Betts about devolution in England outside of London.

The Birmingham Edgbaston MP argued for directly elected regional mayors and independent funding streams for big cities, claiming that the current council tax model is "beyond repair".

"If we want our cities to grow we have to make sure that the wealth generated in the cities stays in the cities," she told MPs.

Wrapping up for Labour, shadow communities and local government secretary Hilary Benn said the speech offered no support for tenants in the private rented sector.

He put this down to the government being "ideologically averse… to the state using its power on behalf of those for whom the markets do not work".

A future Labour government, he said, would legislate for longer-term tenancies and rent controls.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles defended the coalition's record, and told MPs it was working towards building a more resilient rental market.

He emphasised that this could only be done with private money "because there's going to be no public money".

Mr Pickles also announced that an "outdated" law preventing homeowners in London from renting out their property on a short-term basis without special planning permission, would be scrapped.

The debate was adjourned until next week.

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