The cost-of-living crisis could have been avoided.
The challenges many in Portsmouth are facing right now would not exist if the early and necessary action had been taken. Of course, there are a range of reasons why the cost of heating home’s is more expensive.
Because of Government’s delay, the crisis is affecting the daily lives of so many.
Households brace themselves for the biggest drop in living standards in 30 years, with steep price increases in everyday and essential food items. 4.7m adults and 2.5m children are already living in food insecurity, but these rises risk those figures increasing.
In Portsmouth, 28.4% pupils are eligible for free school meals – nearly 10% higher than the national average of 19.7%. As it stands, I fear this could rise higher in the coming weeks and months.
This crisis is also impacting pensioners. Over 28,000 Portsmouth pensioners’ state pensions could be worth hundreds of pounds less over the next year due to the cost-of-living crisis.
New analysis has shown that, rising inflation due to the Conservatives’ decision to only increase the state pension by 3.1%, a basic state pension for an individual will be worth around £222 less than in 2021/22.
This did not need to happen. Since November last year, Labour had a plan on the table to ease pressures. But every time it’s been put forward, it’s been voted down.
It would save over 30,000 Portsmouth households up to £600 a year, for a one-off windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas producers who have profited from price rises.
We would also increase and expand the Warm Home’s Discount, targeting those that need it such as pensioners and the lowest earners, and prevent increase in current energy bills.
No one should have to choose between going hungry or staying warm. We are in this situation because of government inaction. Portsmouth families deserve better.
A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.
Subscribe here for unlimited access to all our coverage, including Pompey, for just 26p a day.