PRINCE CHARLES, sitting in for his mother, began the Queen’s Speech by saying: “My government’s priority is to grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families.”

But for the second consecutive Parliamentary setpiece, by the time it had come to an end, people were left scratching their heads and asking: “Is that it?”

It was like Rishi Sunak’s Budget where everyone was expecting a rabbit from a hat but it just didn’t come.

Last week, the Bank of England predicted we are walking in to an economic meltdown: inflation surging to 10 per cent by the end of the year and a recession next year. It feels as if we just have a small window of opportunity over the summer to try and avert the meltdown – to tackle the soaring energy costs that are fuelling inflation, to prevent taxation levels reaching their highest proportion of national income since the 1940s…

There are welcome measures in the Queen’s Speech on levelling up, but they are about street names, empty town centre buildings and al fresco dining, and it will take two years before they become law.

Yet the cost of living crisis is hitting people now, forcing them to cut back on all but essential spending and so harming the economy. And there is worse to come, with another significant rise in energy prices expected in the autumn when the heating goes back on and the Treasury gets round to thinking about intervening.

The Queen’s Speech has left us sleepwalking towards economic Armageddon.