In My View: Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark

The Brexit imposed by this Government has caused some prices to spiral, with the UK experiencing faster rising costs than most other countries and the needless delays at our borders adding to supermarket prices.

At the same time, energy prices have risen dramatically and will jump further this year, with companies making colossal profits while people in Southwark and across the capital struggle to keep homes and families warm and cars fuelled.

Despite this cost of living crisis, working Londoners have just been whacked with a new tax by this Government. Johnson’s team have chosen the toughest circumstances for Londoners to take more money out of people’s pockets.

Under this new Tory tax, Londoners will be paying an additional £2.2billion a year and in Southwark it is an eye-watering £37million extra.

When asked to provide more support to families affected by the crisis, the chancellor dismissed the idea as ‘silly’.

He is taxing working Londoners more while some in the Cabinet and even in his own family have apparently avoided paying their fair share.

Johnson’s Tories have now raised taxes 15 times, costing families £1,060 extra this year, and this Government is the highest taxing administration since the 1950s.

Even at a local level, Conservatives are not helping working people. Council tax bills in Labour local authorities average at £1,256 compared to £1,592 charged by Conservative councils.

The Lib Dems may be cheaper in rhetoric but are even more expensive than their former coalition partners, with average bills of £1,700 for the same services.

Young people are especially badly hit by this Government’s ‘high tax, low expectations’ style.

Children still receive less for education in 2022 than Labour were providing in 2010. In Southwark, these cuts were compounded with another £1.2million taken last year from help for the most disadvantaged pupils.

With the lifting of covid restrictions it has been brilliant to be visiting Southwark schools again, as well as hosting classes visiting Parliament.

The Government should invest in education, not axe students’ opportunities.

I am hugely proud to serve an area with such positive young people despite the Government’s cuts to schools.

We have been remembering and celebrating a true young local hero recently as it is a year since Folajimi (‘Jimi’ to his friends and family) courageously jumped into the Thames to save a stranger from drowning.

Too often young people like Jimi are demonised and stigmatised in the media, but his selflessness and bravery is an example to us all and was the product of his family, friends and communities’ love.

It is that legacy which shines on through the mural unveiled to him at the Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey.




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