UK Parliament: King Charles delivers first King’s Speech in over 70 years, sets out plans for ‘changing UK for the better’

London : King Charles III Tuesday gave the United Kingdom’s first King’s Speech in more than 70 years, outlining the legislative agenda scheduled by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for the next parliamentary session. King Charles arrived at the Palace of Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament with Queen Camilla. The last session of Parliament opened in May 2022, when Boris Johnson was the prime minister of the UK and Queen Elizabeth II sat on the throne.

Outlining the legislative agenda planned by Prime Minister Sunak for the new parliamentary session at the House of Lords, King Charles III said that his ministers would make the “difficult but necessary long-term decisions to change this country for the better”.

“It is mindful of the legacy of service and devotion to this country set by my beloved mother, the late Queen, that I deliver this, the first King’s Speech in over 70 years. The impact of Covid and the war in Ukraine have created significant long-term challenges for the United Kingdom. That is why my Government’s priority is to make the difficult but necessary long-term decisions to change this country for the better,” King Charles said in prepared remarks.

On inflation in the country, King Charles said, “My ministers’ focus is on increasing economic growth and safeguarding the health and security of the British people for generations to come. My Government will continue to take action to bring down inflation, to ease the cost of living for families and help businesses fund new jobs and investments. My ministers will support the Bank of England to return inflation to target by taking responsible decisions on spending and borrowing. These decisions will help household finances, reduce public sector debt, and safeguard the financial security of the country.”

Regarding reforms in education, the King said it (reforms) will “strengthen education for the long term” adding “My ministers will strengthen education for the long term. Steps will be taken to ensure young people have the knowledge and skills to succeed, through the introduction of the Advanced British Standard that will bring technical and academic routes into a single qualification.”

Speaking regarding the housing reforms King Charles said “My ministers will bring forward a bill to reform the housing market by making it cheaper and easier for leaseholders to purchase their freehold and tackling the exploitation of millions of homeowners through punitive service charges.”

As part of the reforms, the standard lease extension term will increase to 990 years from 90 years for both houses and flats, with ground rent reduced to £0. The government will also scrap the requirement for a new leaseholder to have owned their property for two years to get the benefits.