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DREW HENDRY: 'We know that there is no magic money tree'

By Gavin Musgrove

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Rishi Sunak's words on cost of living crisis are 'patronising'. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.
Rishi Sunak's words on cost of living crisis are 'patronising'. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

Time and again, we hear these hollow words from Westminster: ‘There’s no magic money tree.’ and then there’s the millionaire Prime Minister’s favourite ‘We are in this together’.’

People struggling to balance their household budgets don’t need to be patronised about ‘magic money trees’.

Much like those who can’t afford to put food on their table don’t feel ‘in this together’ with an out-of-touch millionaire who seems more interested in lining the pockets of his buddies.

The recent King’s Speech provided a perfect opportunity for the Government to outline its plan to address the damaging cost of living crisis.

Especially following the damning report from Joseph Roundtree Foundation that in 2022, 3.8 million people in the UK, including a million children, couldn’t meet their most basic needs. A figure we know will have increased in 2023, meaning the crisis is deepening in our communities and as we head into the heart of winter, the situation will only get worse for many people.

Yet, in a speech lasting over 10 minutes, the phrase ‘cost of living’ was mentioned just once, with no substantial cost of living or meaningful social policy interventions announced.

It was more fluff and spin by a Government more interested in culture war politics and installing unelected people into Government than in helping hard-pushed families.

With every day that passes, an increasing number of people are battling to keep a roof over their heads and the lights on, not to mention putting food on the table. The number of charities offering food support across our communities increases every month.

People across all nations of the UK are in a daily fight for survival. Here at home, the cold weather is starting to bite and, in turn, so are our energy bills.

Off grid households are further penalised because of the lack of parity around regulation and other fuel sources continue to rise in costs. None of this is easy for anyone – least of all those who rely on their pensions or small incomes. It terrifies me just how many of them are struggling in silence.

This is a subject I find myself writing about repeatedly, and there’s a stark reason for this: people here in our communities are suffering badly. I am so thankful that some of those struggling the most find the courage to contact me, local Citizens Advice Bureau teams, or charities.

However, I also know many people out there – perhaps even you reading this – are struggling alone, without help.

If that is the case, know I am here to help. You can book a call or meeting with me or find the support you need on my website at www.drewhendrymp.scot or get in touch with one of the many local charities out there offering support.

One thing we can always be proud of is the humanity and compassion at the heart of our communities.

Earlier this week, when I responded to the Chancellor’s Autumn statement in parliament, I reminded him that social justice is not just about doing the right thing – although that should be enough – but also about forging a path to the thriving economy we all want to see.

Drew Hendry (SNP) is MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey

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