In 2019, in the fifth richest economy in the world, you would have thought that having enough money for food, housing, clothing and the odd little treat would be the least we could all expect, writes Gloria De Piero MP.
That is why the latest figures on the number of people in the UK living in poverty are such a tragedy.
Since 2010, child poverty has increased by half a million, working-age poverty by 200,000 and pensioner poverty by 400,000.
The Government’s own figures show an increase of 600,000 in the number of people in absolute poverty in 2017-18.
These are the devastating impacts of Tory austerity policies that have been implemented since they came to power.
The Resolution Foundation has found that the Government’s new tax and benefit policies will boost incomes by an average of £280 for the fifth richest households, but reduce them by £100 for the poorest fifth.
How can it be right that the rich keep getting richer and the poor, poorer?
It is time for the benefit freeze to come to an end and for policies that clamp down on insecure work and other practices that trap people in in-work poverty.
Recently, my office helped a Sutton man whose quality of life was suffering due to anti-social behaviour in the block of flats he lived in.
Every night the noise from loud music and people shouting was disturbing his sleep and causing him stress.
I contacted the district council and they have taken action, putting a stop to the problems so the man can get on with his life as normal.
I was also pleased with the response following a complaint I made on behalf of a Kirkby woman about the treatment she received during her PIP assessment.
The lady has coronary artery disease and found travelling to Nottingham very difficult and then found that staff at the assessment were not accommo-dating to her needs.
PIP apologised for any distress caused and said they will ensure extra training is provided following their investigation if needed.