In My View: Janet Daby, MP for Lewisham East

The damaging impacts of 13 years of Conservative Government have been felt across the country and in Lewisham East.

The latest figures show that food inflation is still at incredibly high levels.

There were 4.7 million people in 2021/22 across the UK who lived in food-insecure households.

It is also shocking that 12 per cent of children in this country live in food-insecure households.

As of 2021/22 there were at least 3,523 children in relative poverty in Lewisham East.

To compound this, because of Conservative reckless mismanagement of our economy, homeowners in Lewisham East may be paying £4,800 extra on their mortgages.

This means that local people and families will find it even harder to afford food and the essentials.

I am also concerned about the cut in funding Lewisham council has endured since the Government first took office.

In real terms, in 2013 the council’s budget was £400million, but after ruthless decisions taken by central Government, its budget has been reduced by millions.

It is not fair that local people should suffer because of the incompetence of Conservative politicians.

The latest example of this was the announcement of plans to close four station ticket offices in Lewisham East along with hundreds of ticket offices across England.

It is callous that this failing Government is allowing rail operators to consult over ticket offices closures and for people to potentially lose their jobs during a cost-of-living crisis, where the only outcome from this change will be that people’s journey experience will be worsened.

This is because many people who use the ticket office will no longer have a service. This will impact older people and people with disabilities the most.

As Prime Minster, Rishi Sunak must realise that so many people are struggling in so many ways.

Therefore in late June at Prime Minister’s Questions, I told him how a university student from Lewisham East has seen her rent rise by £200 a month.

She is now at risk of homelessness and cannot return to the family home. She has no choice but to use food banks, even though she has two part-time jobs.

She is falling behind in her studies while falling further into debt and depression.

In response, the Prime Minister failed to properly address my question and seemed to think he was answering a different question.

Families across the country are finding life very tough under a Conservative Government, with a Prime Minister no one voted for and too weak to address the issues facing society.

We need a Government that can get a grip and show some leadership and to focus on the things that matter.

Only if we return a Labour Government at the next General Election will the tide turn.

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