After months of rubbishing Labour’s calls for a windfall tax on fuel companies, and voting against it in Parliament, the Conservative Government has finally changed its mind. I don’t understand why it took so long. 


The Queen’s Speech a few weeks back provided nothing to help families facing high rents and rising food prices; and nothing to protect people from exploitation at work.  Urgently increasing essential benefits to match rising inflation was completely missing. Even now, it appears the plan is to wait until next year to increase social security payments. 

Worse still, there’s no mention of a child poverty strategy for England. 


Half Newham’s children grow up in poverty.  This isn’t new.  I’ve harried the Government about it for years.  Children enduring poverty have a harder time at school.  You can’t concentrate if you’ve not had enough to eat. 


This Conservative Government’s way of muddling through, ignoring the cost-of-living crisis, rips families apart.  It’s pushing people too far.  


What rankles most is Government making it sound like just bad luck we’re in this mess.  They’ve been in power for 12 years!  Whatever Tories say, the cost-of-living crisis began well before the war in Ukraine.  Energy bill spikes were announced in September 2021.  Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. 


The Spring Statement in March was an opportunity to take proper action on cost of living, as I and so many others demanded. Instead, this Government waited until they needed a political distraction from their rule breaking lockdown parties to act.  This is simply shameful. 


My inbox overflows with messages from constituents who are striving to care for their loved ones, but simply unable to cope.  Rents are just too high, consuming almost all of many families’ total earnings.  People keep asking me why the Government haven’t made rents more affordable, and I have no answer to give.   There’s simply no acceptable reason. 

Johnson’s mismanaged Government needs to understand that investing in people, especially our children, is their job, not an afterthought.  This country needs urgent, decisive action to address child poverty and meaningful investment in renewable energy and we need it now. 



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