The local press asked all local MPs to answer some questions about the growing cost of living crisis, which has led Martin Lewis, the ‘money saving expert’, to warn that people could die if something is not done. These were the questions and my answers:
Should parliament be recalled now?
As it stands, we’re all being told to wind our necks in until the winner of the Tory leadership contest limps over the line. Which yet again shows how disconnected the political system has become from citizens’ day-to-day lives. This government can try and hide now, but as the explosion into being of the Enough is Enough movement is showing, they won’t be able to run forever.
Are you satisfied that the government is currently doing enough to handle the crisis?
Astonishingly, it’s only households with incomes of over £100,000 a year who aren’t experiencing an increase in severe hardship, according to academic research. And economists say that the UK crisis will be worse and last longer than in other countries. The nation is sinking into a sea of debt, deprivation and worry, and this government is giving us teaspoons to bail out with.
What measures do you want to see introduced to ease the crisis?
This stuff is not that difficult to understand. We must get a grip on high and volatile prices – including energy bills. And we need to increase incomes by boosting wages and benefits.
Short-term solutions are critical, but at the same time, we need to deal with the long-term systemic roots of the crisis.
The government can use the energy price cap mechanism to cancel the upcoming colossal price rise. If energy companies say that’d make them unprofitable, we could bring them into public ownership.
Due to Climate Breakdown, high and volatile energy prices aren’t going away. We’re not going back to ‘normal’. Tinkering around with ‘market solutions’ just ain’t going to cut it anymore. We need to learn from the example of France, which has used state ownership of energy to limit energy price increases to just 4%.
This is precisely the right moment to announce a significant home insulation scheme, a fossil fuel industry nationalisation plan, a substantial renewable energy drive, and public service investment.
How many constituents and organisations have contacted you to raise concerns about the crisis? What are they telling you?
Hundreds of constituents have been in touch to support a radical and change in government policy or to tell me they simply won’t be able to cope much longer.