Government cannot completely 'shield' people from cost of living crisis, Boris Johnson says, as Charles delivers Queen's Speech

The Government cannot completely "shield" people from the cost of living crisis, Boris Johnson has said, as Prince Charles delivered the Queen's Speech for the first time.

Mr Johnson promised plans to get the country “back on track” following the Covid-19 pandemic, and used the Queen’s Speech to set out plans for changes to create a “high-wage, high-skill” economy.

However, there were no plans for immediate help for households as energy bills and other costs continue to soar to highs not seen in decades.

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“After two years of Covid-19, I know that the last thing people need are further challenges. I know people are struggling with their bills, and that they are anxious about the future,” Mr Johnson said.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall with the Duke of Cambridge proceed behind the Imperial State Crown through the Royal Gallery during the State Opening of Parliament

“But we will get the country through it just as we got through Covid-19, with every ounce of ingenuity and compassion and hard work.

“While we must keep our public finances on a sustainable footing – and we cannot completely shield people from the fallout from global events – where we can help, we will.

“And over the coming months we will continue examining what more we can do to ease the pressures on hard-working people and families.”

Mr Johnson said the “aftershocks of Covid-19 and the biggest war in Europe since 1945” were causing disruption around the world, with all major economies facing cost-of-living pressures.

“No country is immune and no government can realistically shield everyone from the impact,” Mr Johnson said.

“It is right that we continue doing whatever we can to ease the burdens people are grappling with now, supporting the hardest-hit with £22 billion of help to address the cost of living and cutting hundreds of pounds off household bills.

“But we must also remember that for every pound of taxpayers’ money we spend on reducing bills now, it is a pound we are not investing in bringing down bills and prices over the longer term.

“And that if anything, this moment makes clear our best remedy lies in urgently delivering on our mission to turbo-charge the economy, create jobs and spread opportunity across the country.”

The Prince of Wales read the speech at this year's annual spectacle for the first time, after Buckingham Palace confirmed yesterday that his mother would not attend having been suffering "episodic mobility problems".

He was accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall and Duke of Cambridge in the House of Lords this morning, while the Queen's throne was left empty.

In total, 38 bills were announced, including a number that had been carried over from the last Parliamentary session.