LLANELLI’S MP Nia Griffith has called for calm and more support for the vulnerable amid what she describes as the ‘devastating impact’ of the pandemic on some of her constituents who cannot afford housing, food and heating costs.
The MP called for ‘substantial support’ for those who have lost their jobs and said that she ‘envisaged a further rise in unemployment in the spring’. She said that the numbers of employed on furlough may be ‘masking the true figures of unemployment’ to be revealed when furlough comes to an end.
The MP also sounded a warning over trying to repay the debt incurred during the pandemic too quickly by raising taxes.
Ms Griffith said that one of the problems was that there were people on a lot less income not necessarily unemployed but struggling. She said that foodbanks signified the tragedy and should be the last resort for people and a temporary measure.
The MP praised those at the Senedd who she said were working to help the homeless.
“I am in weekly meetings with Ministers including Mark Drakeford, Vaughan Gething and Julie James” she said.
“We raise all concerns we have locally and we expect answers.
“We are in touch with the Health Board on vaccines and we are seeing the roll out through GP surgeries and vaccination centres in Llanelli and Carmarthen.”
Describing the loss of the election in 2019 as a low point the MP said that the public were beginning to get to know and trust Sir Keir Starmer and see him as a ‘potential Prime Minister’.
Mark Drakeford was also praised by the MP for the way in which he has been handling the pandemic.
The MP said that Labour were a ‘long way from winning an election’ but that the party wanted to listen to concerns, to address the priorities and not to promise the world.
“There is a real feeling about putting right the inequalities” she said.
“We should not be leaving anybody behind.”
She described the delays for benefit payments and cuts in payments as ‘inhuman’ and said that the system needed to be reformed.
You can listen to the full interview here: