Tory cost of living crisis could see 619,368 working pensioners in Wales £1,400 worse off over next two years
A Tory triple whammy of soaring prices, a tax hike and a lower State Pension could see 619,368 working pensioners in Wales £1,400 worse off over the next two years, according to new analysis published this week.
New analysis from the House of Commons Library, commissioned by Labour, shows that working pensioners could be an average of £1,400 worse off over the next two years.
A working pensioner earning the average salary, who is in receipt of the State Pension and liable to pay the Health and Social Care Levy, face a real-terms reduction in their income of £770 in 2022/23 and £622 in 2023/24, an almost £1,400 loss.
The analysis also shows the value of the State Pension is eroded in real-terms by nearly £300 next year and will still be lower in real-terms in 2023/24 even if it is uprated by 5.9%, the rate of inflation that is forecast for September 2022.
Commenting on the figures, Tonia Antoniazzi MP said:
“Many retired people in Swansea and Gower work, to contribute to our communities or to supplement their state pension which is facing a real terms cut this April.
“Its disgraceful that working pensioners are facing a triple whammy of soaring prices, tax rises and a real terms cut to their state pension. Under the Tories, pensioners are worse off.”
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said:
“Instead of protecting pensioner incomes as Boris Johnson promised, the Tories are cutting the state pension and clobbering pensioners in work with a tax rise; leaving them worse off by an eye-watering £1400.
“It's daylight robbery and Boris Johnson has betrayed retired people.
“Pensioner poverty is increasing with older people facing impossible choices between eating and heating. The upcoming NICs rise should be halted this week and action should be taken to reduce energy bills by hundreds of pounds for those who need help as Labour has proposed."
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I am proud that Swansea is a City of Sanctuary. We have a history of welcoming people of different nationalities, ethnicities and religions as well as those fleeing war and persecution in other countries.
I know residents across Swansea & Gower will want to do their bit to support those who have been forced to flee their homes because of the invasion. Here is how you can help. #StandWithUkraine
The current advice from the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is that the best way to support the people of Ukraine is through cash donations with more details available by following this link: https://www.dec.org.uk/
With many logistical routes closed and transportation systems under significant pressure, sending physical goods could add more stress to the situation on the ground.
Making cash donations, to organisations responding to the crisis in Ukraine, allows for emergency relief goods to be sourced locally.
Homes for Ukraine
The UK Government has set up two routes for people fleeing the war in Ukraine to seek safety and sanctuary in the UK and Wales.
If people in the Ukraine have family ties in the UK they can apply for a visa through the Ukraine Family Scheme. This scheme allows people to join their family members or extend their stay in the UK. It is free to apply and people will be able to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.
The other route is the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which is specially designed for people in Ukraine who do not have family links in the UK. It allows people in the UK to sponsor someone in Ukraine to come and live in the UK.
People in Wales can sign up for the Homes for Ukraine scheme, offer to become a sponsor and offer a space in their home to someone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine to live for at least six months. People signing up to the scheme via the Homes for Ukraine website can be matched with people escaping the war in Ukraine who want to come to the UK.
Helpline and support
Guidance on the support available to Ukrainian nationals and their family members can be found on GOV.UK, including detail on the latest information on Ukraine visa schemes and resettlement.
If you need any assistance, call the free 24 hour helpline on +44 808 164 8810 (0808 164 8810 if you’re in the UK). If you cannot contact UK 0808 numbers, please use +44 (0)175 390 7510.
The situation in Ukraine may be traumatic for family members, friends and those currently in living in Wales. The CALL (Community Advice & Listening Line) Mental Health helpline is available 24 hours a day to listen and provide support. Call 0800 132737 or text ‘Help’ to 81066.
This week, I had the opportunity to speak about the great work of Swansea Council in a Westminster Hall debate. Read on to find my full speech.
The Tories are planning to ditch plans to ban imports of fur and foie gras. I implore them to reconsider.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP for Gower pledged to work with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to help make ‘science fiction a reality’ during a special parliamentary reception.
The event, held on Wednesday 2nd March, celebrated the BHF’s 60th birthday and the pioneering research it has funded.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP heard about the BHF’s life saving research over the last six decades, and met with some of the BHF-funded researchers who have made these advances possible.
Since the BHF launched in 1961, the number of people dying from heart and circulatory diseases in the UK each year has halved.
BHF-funded research also contributed to the first UK heart transplant, and the charity was behind discoveries that revealed the cause of a heart attack - helping to transform treatments ever since.
The BHF’s research has also identified many of the genes responsible for conditions that cause sudden heart attacks and cardiac arrests, meaning people can be identified before these deadly events strike.
Today, the BHF is the UK’s biggest non-commercial funder of research into heart and circulatory diseases. However, despite six decades of progress, there is still more to do to improve the lives of the 7.6 million people in the UK who are living with these conditions.
The leading charity is now urging more people to donate to the BHF so that it can help turn more mind-blowing ideas from the realms of science fiction into life saving treatments and potential cures.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP for Gower said: “I was delighted to attend the BHF’s parliamentary reception and hear more about the huge advances in research that the charity has made possible over the last 60 years.
“Today, heart and circulatory diseases are one of the biggest killers in the UK, so it is important that the BHF continues to receive support to help fund the scientific breakthroughs of the future. I look forward to working with the BHF to help highlight the crucial part it plays in the UK’s research and development landscape and how the work it funds benefits my constituents.”
The event was hosted by Elliot Colburn, the Member of Parliament for Carshalton and Wallington.
Elliot Colburn MP said: “The BHF’s research has been pivotal in helping to advance treatments for the millions of people living with heart and circulatory conditions in the UK.
“It was inspiring to hear from the BHF’s researchers and to also find out more about how their work is directly benefiting patients.”
Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: “It was great to speak with Tonia to not only recognise the improvements made for people living with heart and circulatory conditions across the UK, but to also highlight the progress we urgently need for those living in their constituency.
“Beating heart and circulatory diseases is still one of the world’s biggest challenges and, despite huge steps forward over the last 60 years, the BHF’s research has never been more needed.
“We want to thank all MPs and peers who attended our parliamentary reception and signed our pledge to help make science fiction a reality. We look forward to working with them in the future.”
During my St David’s Day debate speech last week, I spoke about my passion for empowering women and girls through sport, because sport changed my life.
I’ve been blown away by the response I’ve had to that speech, so on International Women’s Day, I wanted to elaborate more on this.
Dirty Russian money must be taken out of the UK in days, not months. The Government must side with Labour on the Economic Crime Bill and send a clear, united message – Putin backed oligarchs are not welcome in our economy.
The Government has today brought forward their Economic Crime Bill to Parliament. I welcome the need for this type of bill as we desperately need to bolster the UK’s defences against corrupt Russian money.
The National Crime Agency estimates that £100bn of dirty money washes through the UK each year, much of it funnelled into our country via opaque legal structures used by those profiting from the Russian regime and laundered through our property market.
I welcome the Government’s decision to bring forward legislation to set up a register of overseas entities holding UK property and land and their beneficial owners. Labour has been calling for these measures for years and have consistently raised the alarm about the role of Kremlin backed capital in the UK and the lack of action from the Conservative government. That alarm has reached fever pitch as the unprovoked and unjustifiable Russian invasion of Ukraine continues at horrific human cost.
The Conservatives first promised a register of overseas ownership in 2016 and draft legislation has been in the public domain for this since 2018. It is deeply frustrating that the Government has dragged their feet on stopping dirty money flowing through our economy and that it took the invasion of one of our allies before they finally acted.
Our country is respected across the world as a prime financial destination, but sadly it has also become the destination of choice for Russia’s kleptocrats under this Government. Britain has a completely deficient system of corporate registration that permits layers of secrecy in which those who prop up Putin and the Russian state are hiding. Transparency International research has shown that UK property worth £1.5 billion has been bought since 2016 by Russians accused of corruption or links to the Kremlin.
This is not simply a matter of targeting individuals or entities through sanctions but about fixing a broken system that helps to sustain Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Britain’s openness to fraud and money laundering, inadequate regulation of political donations, lax mechanisms of corporate governance, and weakness to foreign interference threatens our national security.
I am deeply concerned that the Bill contains an 18-month transitional period before which any foreign entity needs to apply to join the register. By including a transition period this legislation offers no deterrent now and gives oligarchs a huge window to escape sanctions. Labour wants the obligation to register to come into effect within weeks, not years and that is why we have tabled an amendment to tighten the net on Putin’s cronies now by shortening the grace period to 28 days.
We cannot give oligarchs a head start - dirty Russian money must be taken out of the UK in days, not months. The Government must side with Labour to protect our security and show solidarity with the people of Ukraine by taking the action needed to send a clear, united message – Putin backed oligarchs are not welcome in our economy.
On Monday the Tories' Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill returned to the Commons following its rejection by the House of Lords.
Here's why I voted against it at every opportunity in the House of Commons.
I could not vote for a Crime Bill that does nothing to reverse the Conservatives’ failure to address the epidemic of violence against women and girls – and which imposes draconian restrictions on all of our freedoms including the right to protest.
While the Government accepted our proposals to urgently review spiking, they shamefully still opposed amendments on criminalising sex for rent and making misogyny a hate crime.
The rape charge rate has dropped to just 1.3% yet there were no measures in the Bill to increase the pitiful rape prosecution.
The Bill fails to address the crisis in our police and justice system that has been created by a decade of cuts and failed Tory ideology. The government likes to legislate and make new sentences, but the truth is sentencing is doesn’t achieve justice while the courts are frozen.
The Crown Court backlog is now at an all-time record high of nearly 60,000 cases. Victims of crime are being asked to wait up to 4 years to get to court and many victims and witnesses are dropping out of the justice entirely because of delays. Violent criminals are being spared prison because of delays – case studies here. 295 courts in England and Wales were closed by the Conservatives between 2010-19. There are 27,000 fewer sitting days than in 2016.
This Bill should have been an opportunity to take meaningful action to tackle violence against women and girls. Unfortunately, this opportunity has been wasted.