Stephen Hepburn: Scandal of South Tyneside families struggling to survive

Work trapping families in poverty instead of giving grafters a way out of hardship is one of the Tory crimes of the century.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 04 July, 2019, 12:00
Grand opening of the new food bank warehouse at the LW Storehouse based at the LivingWaters church

It’s scandalous that during the current misrule of this Conservative, self-interested, wealthy elite, our country crossed a point where for the first time in living memory the majority of poor children are in homes where a parent is employed.

Low wages, insecure hours and bank account-emptying social security cuts for people with jobs mean that work failing to pay - and not only unemployment or disability - is a curse blighting the lives of our young people.

Egomaniacs Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt don’t give a damn about scarred children when they’re showering tax gifts on the rich in a squalid Tory battle to impose another dud Prime Minister on Britain, Conservatives belatedly realising Theresa May was out of her depth.

This pair of ivory tower Tories should hang their heads in shame that 70% of the 4.1-million children living on the breadline are in working families.

So many children are outrageously condemned to hardship by the callous Conservatives that if we include them all and imagine the kids a classroom of 30 pupils, nine of the 30 would be considered poor.

It doesn’t have to be this way when Labour lifted 800,000 kids out of poverty while under the Conservatives another 500,000 are suffering.

Politics is about whose side you’re on and I, as a Labour MP, am on the side of work paying, economic prosperity for everybody and social justice so nobody is abandoned or left behind.

The selfish Tory creed is rooted in holding most people back so only a few do well.

Conservatives are and always will be the party of the millionaires and never the millions.

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Labour’s £10 an hour minimum wage would make work pay as will abolishing zero hours contracts.

We also need to raise squeezed child benefits and axe the benefit cap and two-child limit when these outrages were invented by loaded cynical Tories playing a dirty game of pitting the working poor against the workless poor.

I regularly receive letters, emails and telephone calls from constituents in despair, mams and dads reliant on the charity of food banks to feed families and tortured by the realisation they can’t afford decent shoes and clothes for their children.

Seeing people in my constituency who are struggling so badly is heartbreaking and they deserve a helping hand instead of the cruel indifference of aloof Tories.

I can’t wait for a General Election to kick out the Tories and put Labour in power where we can do what’s needed, improving life for everybody.

And I mean everybody.

Let’s reward hard work and look after those who can’t work.

The Conservatives will always look after only themselves.