Batley and Spen's MP shares concerns for families struggling as cost of living soars

Concern is growing about the financial pressures the cost of living crisis is putting on families in Dewsbury, Batley and Spenborough.

By sarah fitton
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 10:35 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 10:36 am
MP for Batley and Spen Kim Leadbeater
MP for Batley and Spen Kim Leadbeater

Rising energy prices and surging inflation are already squeezing people’s incomes, with further fuel cost rises and an increase in National Insurance coming in April.

MP for Batley and Spen Kim Leadbeater has shared her fears in Parliament, saying more working families are being forced to rely on food banks.

Speaking in support of a motion for the Government to cut VAT on household energy bills, which was voted down, she said: “There are many families that the Government is putting under huge pressure - they are not desperately poor but they are not rich either, and often both partners are working full time.

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"They are trying to do the best for their kids but they are really struggling through no fault of their own.

“I have heard from many such families in my constituency. They are proud, hard-working people, but too many face the embarrassment and, I know some would say, humiliation of having to rely on food banks.

“I was contacted by a couple whose story really shocked me. He works full-time helping people with drug and alcohol problems, and she is a children’s crisis counsellor.

"They cannot afford to pay this month’s gas and electricity bills and are worried about what will happen if they fall behind on their rent. They are desperately trying to ensure that their kids do not suffer, but things are so tight that they cannot afford to go to the shops for the next two weeks.

“These are good people trying to help those even less fortunate than themselves, and we should not be making their lives even more difficult in the coming months.”