Page last updated at 08:39 GMT, Thursday, 17 May 2012 09:39 UK

Queen's Speech debate part two

Peers concluded a fourth day of debate on the Queen's Speech on 16 May 2012.

Peers considered the programme of legislation for the new session proposed in the Queen's Speech focusing on agriculture, business, the economy, energy, environment, local government and transport.

However, the economy dominated proceedings, with Labour tabling a motion regretting the government's failure to properly address economic recovery.

Shadow leader of the Lords Baroness Royall declined to push the matter to a vote but attacked the government for failures on the economy and on social policy.

She said that "the responsibilities of the state are being rolled back and the burdens are being placed on charities" who were not able to cope.

Summing up the debate for Labour, opposition Treasury spokesman Lord Davies of Oldham said "austerity is proving to be unacceptable in a whole range of countries".

Treasury Minister Lord Sassoon urged peers to "emphatically reject" the Labour motion of regret.

He said the coalition government had come to power facing "the largest peace-time deficit this country has ever faced… larger than many of those countries now mired in the sovereign debt storm in the Euro area".

He pointed to "record low interest rates" and a lower cost of government borrowing as a sign that the coalition was doing the right thing, and accused Labour of wanting "even more government borrowing" and of having "no credible response" to economic difficulties.

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