I agree with David Cameron when he said that the cost of living is the most important issue to families.
It’s a similar message from hundreds of my constituents replying to my summer survey. I also agree with the prime minister when he said he wanted a steady and sustainable rise in the standard of living. His problem is that it simply isn’t happening.
In our region families are on average £23.10 a week worse off since the election. That’s a staggering £1,200 a year equivalent to the total cost of the weekly shop.
The reason is wages have fallen in real terms as inflation, now around three per cent, is rising faster than income.
Chancellor George Osborne may come to regret saying government policies really can make a difference to who benefits from the recovery when his government’s policies are part of the problem.
Most families feel worse off because most families are worse off. Energy bills are £300 a year higher. Rail fares rising around nine per cent.
Little wonder many families are struggling and can’t afford the annual break. For those who can there’s still the feeling that you get ripped off.
Fly from Newcastle Airport and there’s a toll just to be dropped off. Cheap air tickets may not look so cheap when you check baggage charges.
Worse off and ripped off, there’s a long way to go before the public is convinced things are getting better.