MP COLUMN: We desperately need a government that is serious, pragmatic, and radical

We face the worst cost of living crisis in decades as taxes soar and global factors conspire to hike our energy bills.

By Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP
Friday, 29th April 2022, 4:00 am
Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP.

Some of these are beyond our control, to be fair, but any serious government would be seeking credible means to mitigate costs for the many who cannot afford vital services.

And this includes many who will, even more than before, have painful decisions about skipping meals so their children can eat or choosing between heating and eating.

The Cabinet recently held a special meeting to look at how this can be made easier. But it’s all flim-flam.

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Incredibly, a major measure mooted was to allow MOTs on cars to be done every two years rather than annually.

Leaving aside safety concerns, this is a drop in the ocean.

A generation ago, another Conservative government relaunch highlighted a cones hotline so people could report needless road closures while work was not happening.

We desperately need a government that is serious, pragmatic, and radical.

I suggest we need an emergency budget. It should include a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits to cut household bills by up to £600 to fund a VAT cut on home energy bills. It could help increase and expand the Warm Homes Discount.

Let’s also insulate more homes and save hundreds every year as well as curbing our carbon footprint.

We should support struggling small and medium sized businesses through discounting business rates and helping steel and other energy-intensive firms.

The government should scrap the unfair National Insurance increase. The National Crime Agency should chase the £12 billion of taxpayers’ funds lost to fraud and error.

I say to ministers who disagree with me that they should present real alternatives that meet the challenges we face. Things are getting tough for many. Ministers really must do better.