Ashfield MP worried UK poverty issues are being forgotten in Brexit storm

For two-and-a-half years, the country’s eyes have mostly been on Brexit and I know many of you are sick of hearing about it, writes Gloria De Piero MP.

One of the big problems with this situation is that other hugely important issues have not been getting the focus they deserve.

Gloria De Piero MP

Gloria De Piero MP

One of these issues is the rise in the number of people in modern day Britain who are living in poverty.

Under this Government, child poverty is rising, homelessness is rising, and household debt is rising.

Things are getting so bad that the United Nations chief on extreme poverty and human rights recently said ministers were in a “state of denial” about poverty in the UK. The UN report highlighted that 1.5 million people were destitute at some point in 2017, and a fifth of the population, around 14 million people, are living in poverty.

Those figures are horrifying. A report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that “in-work poverty was rising faster than the overall employment rate”, with over four million workers now in poverty.

The introduc-tion of Universal Credit is only making matters worse in my view, forcing families into debt due to delays in payments, poor administration and benefit cuts.

Under the Tories, poverty among disabled people has also risen to 4.3 million. Labour has plans on how it would stop this situation — immediately halting the roll of Universal Credit and implemen-ting a new child poverty strategy.

What are the Tories doing? In my view sitting back and doing nothing, instead continuing to bicker about Brexit.

Fuel poverty in low income areas like Ashfield is a big problems, especially as winter takes hold.

Energy company E.ON is reminding people to check if they can take advantage of offers on cavity wall insulation and brand new, efficient boilers via the Affordable Warmth scheme.

Homeow-0ners who qualify can purchase a replacement A-rated gas boiler for only £240 if their current boiler is faulty or broken. It’s well worth checking out if you qualify at eonenergy.com/affordablewarmth.