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‘Things are going back to Victorian times,’ Welsh cost-of-living petition to UK Government

12 Oct 2022 3 minute read
Picture: Pixabay.

More than 1,300 Cynon Valley residents have signed a petition which makes a series of demands calling on the UK Government to end the cost-of-living crisis. 

Cynon Valley MP Beth Winter will submit the petition today, October 12, on behalf of her constituents after spending the summer talking to residents.

The petition calls for inflation-proofed increases in pay, pensions and benefits, as well as price controls on essentials, wealth taxes, increased emergency payments to households, a programme of mass home insulation and fair funding for Wales.

Hundreds left comments speaking about their experiences of the cost-of-living crisis. 

One resident said: “We’ve had the most devastating two years. It’s going to be a mental health, health and poverty crisis like we have never seen.”

Another resident said: “Things are going back to Victorian times. The haves and the have-nots. It’s a very unfair society and those at the top don’t give a damn.”

Many complained of not understanding how they were meant to get by: “Am I meant to go into debt just to keep me warm? Am I just supposed to simply freeze?”

Another said: “I don’t feel like I can carry on, I feel that I can’t provide for my children to give them the essentials they need, I don’t know what else to do.”

Labour MP Beth Winter said: “Over 1,300 people signed the petition, showing there is serious appetite in our communities for radical action to protect people.

“We need action on pay, pensions and social security. The UK Government is holding down public sector pay and considering reducing social security again. This is driving people into poverty.”

“UK Government must step up and protect people. The Tories’ current course will only lead to more suffering and poverty in our communities, and the people of Cynon Valley won’t accept that anymore.

“My priority now is to continue to work alongside others here in Cynon Valley and more widely – Trades unions, local councils, communities – all coming together to organise, campaign and build a movement to oppose this cost-of-living crisis. I hope to announce more local action in the coming weeks.”

Cost-of-living survey

The petition follows a cost-of-living survey conducted across Cynon Valley in April and May and a summer roadshow of talking to residents about their experiences.

The petition reads: “The petition of residents of the constituency of Cynon Valley, declares that the economic hardship created by the cost-of-living crisis is incredibly concerning.

“The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to hold consultations, ahead of the Autumn Budget, on fairer funding for Wales, inflation-proofed increases in pay, pensions and social security, controls on prices in essential household goods, increased taxation of wealth, increased emergency payments to households funded by a windfall tax, and a programme of mass home insulation.“

It lists five points.

  1. Inflation-proofed increases in pay, pensions and social security
  2. Controls on prices for essential household goods
  3. A mass programme of home insulation
  4. Increased emergency payments to households
  5. Wealth and windfall taxes to pay for it

In September, around 200 people attended a cost-of-living crisis rally at Cynon Linc in Aberdare, organised by Beth Winter.

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1 year ago

Truss will just ignore any petitions from Wales or Scotland. She’s made up her mind to make us suffer.

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