Arfon MP accuses UK Government of brushing off cost-of-living crisis.
Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon Hywel Williams has accused the UK government of turning a blind eye to the cost-of-living crisis, as figures reveal Wales has the highest rate of food bank use in the UK with 4,140 food parcels distributed per 100,000 people.
Speaking during a debate on the Queen’s Speech in the House of Commons, Mr Williams said the UK government had singularly failed to offer any solution to end the long-term issues of growing poverty and inequality - in Wales and the UK.
Hywel Williams MP said:
'The cost-of-living crisis is having a devastating impact on people in my Arfon constituency and all over Wales. As elsewhere in the UK, families are being forced to eat or to heat.'
'It’s no surprise that Wales has the highest rate of food bank use in the UK with 4,140 food parcels distributed per 100,000 people. People are turning to food banks - as they have no other choice.'
'From Bangor to Caernarfon in my own constituency, foodbanks, and community food share schemes are a lifeline to many struggling with the cost of living. It’s a reflection of this UK Tory Government’s austerity agenda that so many of our most vulnerable people are now dependent on strangers for support.'
'In the poorest fifth of households, one in three have savings of less than £250. The rate for the general population is 1 in 6. The £20 cut to Universal Credit, which took away £286 million from the Welsh economy, was an utter disaster for children in low-income families.'
'In Wales we have had high levels of poverty for decades. Poverty has a disastrous and damaging impact on people’s lives. This is particularly acute in Wales as we have the highest national poverty rate in the UK.'
'Our levels of child poverty in Wales are the highest in the UK, affecting a third of Welsh children as measured in 2019. And as the Children’s Commissioner for Wales said over the weekend, that rate is now more like 40%.'
'This persistent poverty has consequences for children’s development, including damaging their mental health.'
'Wales comes way down the priority list of this Conservative government. The Queen's Speech was an opportunity to address the immediate cost-of-living crisis and provide long term solutions to increasing poverty and inequality - it singularly failed to do so.'