Cost of Living Crisis Debate
On Tuesday (8 February 2022), the House of Commons debated an Opposition motion on the cost of living and food insecurity. The motion was tabled amid concerns about a forecasted drop in living standards, increases in the price of everyday and essential food items, worsening situations for millions of people living in food insecurity alongside tax increases, low economic growth and falling real wages, and the current energy crisis.
I believe the people of this country are being ignored: firstly, there is a cost-of-living crisis on food, energy bills and goods, secondly, the cut to Universal Credit is reducing incomes for six million families, and thirdly the increase in taxes on working people and businesses means the tax burden is the biggest for 70 years.
The cost of everyday and essential food items, on which millions of low-paid families depend, are growing even faster than the headline rate of inflation. For example, the cheapest rice in one supermarket has increased in price by 344%. Foodbank use has soared and, while I am proud of the efforts of British people to support one another, this cannot be right in one of the richest countries in the world.
I am also deeply concerned about the costs to small businesses at this time. With support measures due to expire for many businesses at the end of March and with a new ‘jobs tax’ being introduced by the Government in April, the survival of many businesses is recklessly being put at risk by the Government.