Jayne Innes

A New Kind of MP for Coventry North West

Food and Shelter are Basic Human Needs

We must remove the causes of homelessness and foodbanks

Under the Tories, and in the fifth richest nation on earth, some people are denied food and shelter.  People sleep in doorways in our city centre, and in our constituency whole families are trapped for months in bed & breakfast accommodation.  Nationally, another rough sleeper dies every 17 hours

 As a Councillor, I’ve been confronted by Dickensian levels of poverty when dealing with casework. We now hold foodbank collections at Labour Party meetings, and we’ve organised collections with local residents too. We see and hear about the growing epidemic of homelessness. Helping with local volunteers at Langar Aid, and hearing the individual stories leading to homelessness, is one of the most distressing and moving experiences of my time in politics

We have inspirational campaigners on these issues in our Party, and they tell us that unless the root causes in our economy, society and in the benefits system are addressed, all we can ever do is attempt to limit the damage. Ending the tyranny of Universal Credit, sanctions, PIP and the devastating poverty these create, along with proper funding for mental health services, must be the first priority of our incoming government. If I were asked what the first act of an incoming Labour government should be, I would be clear: implement our pledge on Universal Credit

And this would be closely followed by the proposals brought forward by my friend, Sue Hayman MP, on ending the need for foodbanks

Beyond the immediate crisis, the biggest challenge for the next Labour government is our broken housing system. The green paper on housing, prepared by the Shadow Minister John Healey, is full of ambition and practical proposals that will see the renaissance of council housing and 100,000 new social homes built each year. I would push hard to see these ideas translated into action

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