Cost of Living Crisis: Wales — Caroline Nokes in the Chair

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 19th July 2022.

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Photo of Ruth Jones Ruth Jones Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 2:30 pm, 19th July 2022

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered the impact of the cost of living crisis in Wales.

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairship this afternoon, Ms Nokes. Thank you for the warning about the heat. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the debate on behalf of the many families in Newport West who have written to me, called me and messaged me with their stories, experiences and fear for the months and years ahead.

I was elected to the House three years ago. In that relatively short time, despite the devastating pandemic and all the pain associated with it, until now I have never seen such worry and fear in the eyes of my constituents. I am so angry that they have been forced into that position by the actions of this 12-year-old Tory Government. Let me be clear: this is a cost of living crisis made in Downing Street. The biggest challenge facing us all is that we have a caretaker Prime Minister who is more focused on hosting parties than attending Cobra meetings, and more focused on holding power than using power. He is so evidently uninterested in ensuring that the people of Newport West, of Wales, and across the United Kingdom have the support they need and the good government they deserve.

I have shared this story before, but it speaks volumes to the challenge that the cost of living crisis has placed on people in Newport West. My constituent says this:

“Thank you for responding to my e-mail Ruth Jones, these are my concerns. We are in a position right now where we’re not coping. Our energy bills have risen 54% and I am afraid that myself and many others will not be able to provide for our families. My husband’s parents are on a state pension of £82.45 a week, we are concerned for their welfare as they cannot afford to heat their home nor pay for food if these energy prices continue. Many of my friends are concerned for their own families too, we are all struggling, and instead of living, we’re surviving day to day. If these prices don’t change, we must have an increase in the minimum wage.”

That is just one example of the constituents’ emails that I get every day.