I know through my MPs postbag that the rise in the cost of living is having a real impact on the lives of many families here in Stockport.
Everyone knows that prices are still rising much faster than wages, which means that the squeeze on incomes is continuing, and it is those on lower incomes who are feeling the pinch most.
The great shame is that the Office Budget Responsibility, the people who make economic forcasts, are now predicting that people will be worse off in 2015 than when David Cameron entered Downing Street. It’s becoming clear that this government’s economic plan has totally failed and is doing little to help people in Stockport, and especially Reddish and the Heatons.
Of course this is on top of the rising food prices and soaring energy bills the average family is £891 worse off this year because of tax and benefit changes since 2010. Millions are paying more as VAT is higher and tax credits are cut, while millionaires get an average tax cut of £100,000.
We need urgent action to kickstart our flatlining economy and help people struggling with the rising cost of living. The Budget should have invested in building affordable homes, cancelled the tax cut for millionaires and brought in a lower 10p starting rate of tax, funded by a mansion tax on homes worth over £2m. But they didn’t do any of this .It is a real missed opportunity, because a fair tax system is a central part of building a fairer and more successful economy. It is something that will benefit many people in Stockport.
As I have heard so many times on the doorsteps of Reddish, the policies of this government just aren’t helping the hardest hit. This Tory-led administration needs to realise that a strong and sustained recovery can only be made by the many, not just a few at the top.
This article has been written for the MP’s column in the Stockport Express and Stockport Times newspaper