We’re facing a cost of living crisis

Enfield Southgate MP Bambos Charalambous looks ahead to the festive period as people in Enfield face a difficult winter

Bambos Charalambous, Labour Party (credit parliament.uk)
Labour MP Bambos Charalambous has represented Enfield Southgate since 2017 (credit parliament.uk)

It’s been quite a year. Like many, I’m looking forward to the first ‘proper’ Christmas since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

I would like to take this opportunity, once again, to thank our community for pulling together during the pandemic. It has been an extremely difficult time for all, but the resilience shown by people in Enfield has been incredible.

At the same time, we must remember those who have lost their lives to Covid-19 locally. In September, I was honoured to meet with the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign to offer my solidarity as we walked along the National Covid-19 Memorial Wall in Westminster. We cannot allow ourselves to forget the human impact of the pandemic.

As an MP, I have also seen how our community has come together to help each other, including frontline NHS staff who continue to work every day to protect us all. However, it’s clear the commitment of people in Enfield during the pandemic has not been matched by their government, which is mired in corruption.

Just last month we had the Owen Paterson scandal and the return of Tory sleaze, as the now former MP was found guilty of lobbying, and the Conservatives tried to rip up the rule book on standards in public life to protect him. Before that, we had PPE contracts handed to friends of the Conservative Party and an infamous trip to Barnard Castle. It’s a pattern of behaviour and it comes from the top with Boris Johnson as prime minister.

I’m also extremely worried about the cost-of-living crisis this government is creating for my constituents. People are facing poverty, with surging bills and rising inflation, and the autumn budget announcement did nothing to help families in Enfield feeling the pinch this winter. Instead, the chancellor handed tax cuts to companies like Amazon, while raising taxes for working families.

The cut to Universal Credit continues to impact thousands of households in Enfield. For the Conservatives, £20 a week was too much for millions of families across the UK. Meanwhile, the Tory MP for nearby Chingford and Woodford Green, Iain Duncan Smith, earned £25,000 per year on top of his parliamentary salary advising a hand sanitiser company. It is shameful from a government and party that is out of touch with the reality of ordinary people’s lives.

So, as we celebrate or do our best to forget 2021, we should remember what the Conservative government stands for: corruption and a cost-of-living crisis. And in contrast, what Labour in power would stand for: working people and local businesses.

Away from politics, I have the pleasure of judging my annual Christmas card competition with local schools this month. I look forward to sharing the winning entry soon.

I would like to wish everyone in Enfield a very happy and restful Christmas and New Year. It has been another challenging year, and the resilience our community has shown, and continues to show, is extraordinary. I wish you all the very best for 2022.

Bambos Charalambous is the Labour MP for Enfield Southgate. If you are a constituent you can get in touch with him by phone or email:
020 8882 0088
Email [email protected]