https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/offshore-wind.jpg6971039Ana Davishttps://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SM-Logo-3.pngAna Davis2022-11-15 10:51:382023-03-19 11:28:28Abena speaks out on ending the ban on onshore wind
The cost-of-living crisis remains the biggest issue facing the country right now. While the Tory leadership candidates trade insults and trash their own Government’s woeful record, I know that many families across Erith and Thamesmead are still struggling to make ends meet.
On the 11th July I closed the Second Reading debate of the Windfall Tax Bill on behalf of the Shadow Treasury Team.
In that debate, I spoke about the financial pressures that many people in Erith and Thamesmead and across the country are facing. Food, fuel and energy bills continue to rise, and I know many are already worrying about the winter that lies ahead.
So it was a relief that the Government finally followed Labour’s lead and u-turned on the windfall tax. However, since Labour first called for the windfall tax on oil and gas producers, energy bills for typical households have risen by a shocking £700, inflation has rocketed to its highest level in 40 years, and, of course, people’s taxes have gone up as the Government have pressed ahead with the national insurance increase. In that period, oil and gas producers’ profits have soared. Indeed, we estimate that between Labour first calling for the windfall tax in January and the former Chancellor and soon-to-be former Prime Minister finally accepting our arguments at the end of May, nearly £2 billion of tax revenue could have been raised to help people with the cost-of-living crisis.
In that time, Conservative MPs voted against our plans for a windfall tax not once, not twice, but three times. Ministers repeatedly claimed that such a plan would not work. Famously, the current Chancellor said that oil and gas producers were “already struggling”.
It is shameful that it took the Government so long to come to their senses and finally do the right thing. That is yet more evidence, if we needed it after the past couple of weeks, that this Tory Government is on its last legs: out of touch, out of ideas and now truly out of time. With the windfall tax and with so many other issues, it is Labour that leads and the Conservative party that follows.
You can watch my speech using the following link here, and you can read my speech here.
https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Windfall-1.png269483The Office of Abena Oppong-Asare MPhttps://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SM-Logo-3.pngThe Office of Abena Oppong-Asare MP2022-07-15 15:53:172023-03-01 21:06:14Abena speaks on the Windfall Tax Bill
This week is London Challenge Poverty Week and it is, unfortunately, clear to see that London, alongside the rest of England, is moving backwards in tackling poverty.
In Erith and Thamesmead 41% of children are growing up in poverty which has a devastating long-term impact on children’s mental, physical and education well-being. This cannot be acceptable, and it cannot be ignored.
In 2019, Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, found that millions of people in the UK are struggling to access their basic human rights, highlighting how so many have been forced into extreme poverty. The report found that women, disabled people and children are disproportionately impacted by poverty.
The impacts of long ignored poverty have been felt even harder during COVID-19 and it is clear that the most vulnerable in society are being hit the hardest. I released a report in August detailing the impacts of COVID-19 on protected characteristics in Erith and Thamesmead after receiving hundreds of emails from people seeking help.
One constituent emailed me due to facing the risk of eviction, they said:
“I am writing this email seeking for support regarding housing because myself and my son are being threatened with homelessness.
I have been going through some housing issues with my landlord’s son since last year who requested that I vacate the property… I was then issued with a Section 21 notice after the end of my tenancy.
My current rent is lower than the normal rent value and getting another accommodation that is affordable has been challenging because I am on low income.”
The average private rent in Erith and Thamesmead consumes 75% of an average single woman’s earnings. The affordable housing crisis and lack of support for renters throughout the pandemic is just one way in that vulnerable people are being pushed further into poverty.
The Trussell Trust anticipate giving out six parcels every minute between October and December this year. However, poverty if not a new phenomenon in London caused by COVID-19, it is an issue that has been massively increasing over the past decade.
Food bank use has doubled across London over the past five years and 72% of families living in poverty are in work.
Despite these startling figures, the Government has refused to accept that urgent action needs to be taken to tackle the growing poverty rates and issues surrounding them.
Last year London spent over £733m on temporary accommodation for the 57,000 homeless households, including 80,000 children, while over 125,000 homes were either empty or unavailable for rental/purchase across the capital.
It is clear that the Government are ignoring their responsibility to protect people in the UK by allowing millions of vulnerable families to fall into poverty, homelessness and hunger and now more than ever the Government must step up to protect people.
https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2I8A9463-scaled.jpg17072560abena oppongasarehttps://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SM-Logo-3.pngabena oppongasare2020-10-13 17:27:432023-03-04 12:53:06London Challenge Poverty Week – we must act now
I’ve called on the Government to fund free school meals this summer to ensure a ‘holiday with hunger’.
Today, on 15th June 2020, I wrote to the Secretary of State for Education demanding he reverses his decision to withdraw funding for free school meals over the summer holidays as part of Labour’s ‘Holiday without Hunger’ campaign.
In Erith and Thamesmead 3,759 children are at risk of going hungry this summer as the government withdraws support for the provision of free school meals. The added pressure of the coronavirus crisis is plunging families into deeper poverty. Social distancing rules have also raised questions on whether holiday lunch schemes may run, leaving many families rightly concerned about how they will afford food during the summer holidays.
Children must not go hungry this summer, as the Covid-19 crisis hits family incomes and charities and food banks struggle to provide the same level of holiday support. The government has to continue funding free school meals throughout the summer holidays. It is callous that they are refusing to do so.
https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/fsm-scaled.jpg16922560abena oppongasarehttps://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SM-Logo-3.pngabena oppongasare2020-06-15 16:11:242023-03-04 13:06:15We need free school meals to ensure 'holiday without hunger'
Here for Erith and Thamesmead
Through my work I am determined to work with local residents, community groups, businesses and public services to ensure that Erith and Thamesmead is put on the map and we get a fair deal for our community.