EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: Every choice widens the gulf between haves and have-nots

The last decade of Conservative rule has been hard for so many of us; now the long-term effects of their policies and of their neglect are starting to fully take hold.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 12:00 am
We now have over 2,000 foodbanks we know of and child poverty is over four million.

The current gas crisis is global, but not everywhere will feel it as starkly as those in the UK. People here have been struggling with the cost of living for years, the onslaught and continuation of austerity has created deep wounds in our communities that were exacerbated by covid and will endure for generations to come.

As we approach winter there are fears of food shortages, blackouts, and increased fuel poverty. The Government’s ideological reliance on the private sector and refusal to bring energy into public ownership has seen profiteering over investment into renewables. Investment that would have kept costs down and helped halt climate change.

This gas crisis comes at the same time as families will be hit with a national insurance tax hike to pay for social care. The pandemic saw the number of UK billionaires see its biggest jump in 33 years, yet they have ruled out a wealth tax, why ask those who have profited from our misery to pay more when they can hit working families instead?

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Families will also be hit with the cut to the Universal Credit uplift, Universal Credit from the outset was designed to hurt, as the UN Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty said a few years back, UC was about radical social re-engineering and dehumanising those on benefits, nothing else.

In the UK work doesn’t pay, low paid and insecure work has led to millions of working people relying on UC. Even before the pandemic foodbanks, poverty, and the working poor where on the rise. We now have over 2000 foodbanks we know of and child poverty is over 4 million.

Politics always has been and always will be about choices, the Tories used the pandemic to waste billions on dodgy contracts to their friends and allocate £250 million for a yacht. Every single time they have made a choice it’s been to widen the gulf between the haves and the have nots.