The cost-of-living crisis is hitting our communities hard – people are understandably worried about how they are going to pay their bills and feed their families over the coming months. Inflation at a 41-year-high of 11.1%, rising food, energy and transport costs meaning life is difficult for many in our Jarrow constituency.
Every day I am inundated with constituents getting in touch, worried about how they are going to be able to pay their bills this winter and feed their families – never mind the added cost of Christmas. It is heartbreaking and the blame lies solely at the door of this Conservative Government.
Me and my team continue to help residents daily who are struggling to cope, some of whom have faced rent arrears and eviction threats, while many others are simply unable to cover the sky-high costs of energy and food bills – like Kathleen from Wardley a 73 year old woman who told me she has cut back on both heating and eating and the couple living in Hebburn with 2 kids – both in work who a year ago were donating to foodbanks – now using them – they have given up their car -and because of the cost of living crisis they are at risk of losing their home.
So many people telling me they cannot see any hope of things getting better, no light at the end of the tunnel.
Yesterday in parliament I raised these issues, the Chancellor’s autumn statement leaves people facing a winter of hardship, this never ending austerity leading to a further decline in our living standards.
It is hugely important to me that Jarrow constituents know what support is available to them and how to access this support.
Because of the volume of people impacted, I have organised a Cost-of-Living Roadshow.
We will be joined by organisations, including Citizens Advice, Age UK, Veterans Response, Mental Health Concern as well as representatives from each local authority.
The roadshows start Friday 9th December, at Heworth Leisure Centre in Gateshead from 10am-11.30am and then 2pm-3.30pm at Perth Green Community Centre in Jarrow.
Please do come along. It is more important than ever that we support each other and reach out if in need of help.
We need a change in direction and a change in Government until we have that, I will do all I can to support our community through this crisis.