Lessons have not been learnt

It seems we didn’t learn the lessons of last winter.

If you can remember, the fuel, food and inflation crisis combined to make it one of the hardest winters in living memory for many.

And it appears we’re on course for more of the same this year.

As the weather turns and we finally round the corner into autumn, it is hard to not think about the months to come.

The Trussell Trust, a national food bank network, has said it expects to hand out more than one million emergency food parcels this winter across the country.

One food bank in Waterloo hands out nearly 4,000 food packages per month.

While inflation has nearly halved since October last year and Ofgem has announced a reduction in the energy price cap for October to December, many families are still dealing with the financial backlash of last year’s disaster. And not much is being done to help them.

Interest rates are still extremely high and homeowners’ mortgage payments are still too much for some to bear.

Fears over an increase in “financially vulnerable” people seeking out loan sharks, as detailed in our front page story, perfectly illustrates the mess we are in.

More than a third of South Londoners are at risk, according to one financial organisation’s report.

There may be different drivers forcing people into poverty this year, but the root cause remains the same, costs are just too high.

The reliance on the goodwill of food bank volunteers and donors is not enough to pull us all through another winter.

Meaningful funding packages from Government is required to protect the physical and mental health of those who need it most.

We, or should we say the Government, had a whole year to learn from the lessons of last year and make sure the worst off in our communities received the help they needed.

Maybe this time next year it will be a different ­Government as a result.


South London Press



Picture: Pixabay/Roses_Street

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