MP’s maiden speech attack on economy
A SHARP rise in rents, housing waiting lists, homelessness and foodbank use were raised during MP Matt Western’s maiden speech in the House of Commons.
Mr Western — the Labour MP for Warwick and Leamington — spoke last Wednesday of an ‘extraordinary’ five months since he unseated the Conservatives’ Chris White in one of the surprise results of June’s snap general election.
But he then launched a stinging assessment of the effect of the government’s economic strategy since 2010.
He said that in his constituency average rents had increased by 26 per cent; just 50 council homes had been built in the last ten years despite there being 2,400 people on the housing waiting list; 705 people declared themselves as homeless last year — 130 per cent more than in 2010; and 3,600 people regularly used foodbanks.
Mr Western also attacked the effect of austerity on frontline, public sector workers.
“In his maiden speech in 2010, my predecessor stated that Warwick and Leamington had excellent frontline services. He was right: in 2010 we did. Seven years on, we do not,” he told fellow MPs.
“We have lost police, in Warwick we have lost the police station. We have lost teachers, full-time firefighters, and health professionals from the NHS. Many are demoralised.
"My constituents, whether residents or businesses, need, now more than ever, a strong government ready to protect jobs, deliver a shared prosperity and enable all to flourish.”
Read Mr Western’s speech in full HERE