Chiswick’s MPs criticise Government’s handling of the cost of living crisis

Image above: Ruth Cadbury (left) and Rupa Huq (right)

Chiswick’s MPs have criticised the Government’s handling of the ongoing cost of living crisis, saying “urgent support” is needed for their constituents who are struggling with rising prices.

Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury and Ealing Central & Acton MP Rupa Huq both voted for amendments to the Queen’s Speech which would have imposed a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas producers and triggered an emergency budget to deal with skyrocketing prices.

Both MPs voted on Tuesday (17 May) a windfall tax to be imposed on the profits oil and gas producers, most of which who have made a record profit during the energy crisis. BP boss Bernard Looney likened the business to a “cash machine” in March and he received a £2.4m bonus.

If enacted, Labour’s plan would have removed VAT on energy bills, provide extra home insulation for millions of homes and expand the winter homes discount which provides financial support to those struggling with their bills. The amendment was defeated by the Government MPs, who voted it down by 310 votes to 248.

A further Labour amendment on Wednesday (18 May) which would have triggered an emergency budget was defeated by 312 to 229. It came on the same day inflation shot up to its highest level in 40 years, sparking warnings the UK is headed for a recession.

Local people “need to see urgent support”, says Ruth Cadbury

Speaking after Tuesday’s vote, Ruth Cadbury said:

“Families locally are facing a cost of living crisis, with the prices of food, fuel and energy continuing to soar. People locally are struggling, and they need to see urgent support from the Government.

“However rather than supporting our plan for a windfall tax on oil and gas producers, the Prime Minister has simply washed his hands of the matter and is refusing to act. Even after the rise in inflation we’re still seeing more dither and delay from the Prime Minister.

“I will continue to campaign for the Government to take urgent action to cut energy bills and ensure people locally do not have to bear the burden for the slow economic growth, rising inflation and stagnant wages across the UK.’’

Above: Rupa Huq’s speech to the House of Commons

Queens Speech “a scattergun of afterthoughts that puts off all the really big decisions”, says Rupa Huq

Speaking before Wednesday’s vote in a speech to the House of Commons, Rupa Huq said:

“That is what we get when we have an administration diverted from the real issues of the day by self-preservation. While 38 Bills is, on the face of it, a frenetic level of legislation—it is the most in almost a decade and four times that of the last Queen’s Speech—when we strip away the bits that are reheated leftovers that the Government could not get through the Lords last time and the bits and pieces that will scrap EU regulations, we see that, paradoxically, it is a very thin speech. It is a scattergun of afterthoughts, and it puts off all the really big decisions.”

“When, the other day, the Prime Minister had a go at our hard-working civil service by saying that it had a mañana culture—I am told that the word translates as “tomorrow”—he seemed to identify that his own Government have been gripped with putting everything into a “too difficult for right now” box to be dealt with tomorrow.

“Although the words “cost of living crisis” were included in the speech’s text, it was missing any big, overarching ideas for dealing with the crippling of household finances when it comes to the weekly shop, leaving the lights on, heating the house or filling up the tank. The Government’s answer for when they might deal with any of the above, or the record inflation that we see today, is some ill-defined date in the future, but the problem is now.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Amy Croft “surprised to have been elected” as Chiswick’s first Labour councillor in 30 years

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