Cost-of-living crisis bites across the UK
Cotteridge Quakers have highlighted the ‘very urgent needs’ of foodbanks, saying that at their service there is ‘more food going out than coming in’.
Their response tallies with wider reports from around the UK as the cost-of-living crisis bites. Quakers in Scotland highlighted the importance of having available transport so people can ‘access affordable and healthy food’, and ‘the choice many have to make between adequate heating and adequate food’. They also called for more emphasis on fostering resilient communities to help ease the crisis, as part of their response to a Scottish government consultation.
Quaker Catherine West, Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, pressed for urgent government intervention, saying that she has heard from ‘hundreds of constituents who are struggling to make ends meet’. According to the MP, they are ‘faced with the doubling of household bills, stagnated wages, the highest inflation since 1984 and soaring costs for energy, fuel and everyday items’.
The MP also highlighted the issue of soaring childcare costs, which she spoke about in an Opposition Day Debate, citing a recent survey which revealed that sixty-two per cent of parents say that the cost of childcare is the same or more than their rent or mortgage. This is disproportionately impacting working mothers, she added, with forty-three per cent of mothers saying the cost of childcare has made them consider leaving their job; seven per cent have quit altogether.
Meanwhile, Church Action on Poverty – of which Quakers are a member – has announced a new partnership with Co-op to help tackle food poverty. The supermarket chain will support a new ‘Speaking Truth To Power’ programme and a ‘Your Local Pantry’ network to enable people on low incomes to have a greater impact over the decisions that affect their lives.
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