Yvette Cooper MP: Our towns are putting the government to shame

Our communities are pulling together to help the many people that are struggling. Photo: AdobeStockOur communities are pulling together to help the many people that are struggling. Photo: AdobeStock
Our communities are pulling together to help the many people that are struggling. Photo: AdobeStock
As winter sets in the impact of 12 years of Conservative government is stark.

Yvette Cooper MP writes: Bills and mortgages are going up, living standards are going down. Pensioners are worried about putting the heating on. Parents are worried about putting a hot meal on the table. As ever, our towns are pulling together and working to get local help in place. But families shouldn’t be put in this position in the first place. This chaotic government is letting everyone down.

The real value of wages compared to prices is lower now than it was 12 years ago. Despite working hard for years, many families are worse off than they were in 2010. We face the biggest drop in living standards in generations with prices soaring, wages squeezed, investment down, and our precious public services crumbling. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

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Of course all countries are being affected by global factors like international energy prices and Putin’s war. But here in the UK, our economic growth over the next two years is set to be the lowest of any advanced economy.

The disastrous mini-budget including tax cuts for the richest people in the country has made things much worse. But this is also the result of 12 years of low growth under the Conservatives – just half the level of growth we used to have.

The damage may have been done in Downing Street, but they are still making working people and pensioners in our towns pay the price. The chancellor is still refusing to abolish the totally unfair non-dom tax status, refusing to restore the cap on bankers bonuses and refusing to close the tax loophole that is letting major oil and gas companies off from paying a proper windfall tax on excess profits.

We need fairer choices in government, a better deal for working people, a boost for our town centres and a serious plan for growing our economy so we get better jobs, skills and better pay for everyone.

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That should include restoring our British capacity for manufacturing and technology – especially leading the way in green technology and jobs of the future. That is why we are working hard locally to try and get a new Rolls Royce factory for Ferrybridge that would bring new green manufacturing jobs to our area.

Across our towns, people are pulling together to help each other, just like we did during Covid. Community centres, museums and libraries are setting up warm spaces and cosy cafés so there is somewhere to go during the day if you are cold and worried about keeping the heating on.

Schools are providing snacks and food parcels for families. We’ve delivered donations of low energy lightbulbs through community organisations and food banks. Pyjama appeals in Knottingley and Airedale are putting together presents for children for Christmas. And a huge thank you to everyone who has donated books to help us stock up a new library at Airedale Academy so students have great things to read and enjoy.

If our communities can pull together to help each other and sort things out, why can’t the government get its act together and support our country. Our towns are putting the government to shame.