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Weekly update - 6 January

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a happy New Year! 2023 marks a new chapter for Britain, with a new King to be crowned in May. We must look forward with hope. However, for hope to flourish, Britain needs change.

This week I was immensely proud when I watched Keir Starmer’s New Year speech. It clearly set out the Labour Party’s position of national renewal. For too long our economy, our public services and our communities have suffered from the short-term sticking plaster politics that has epitomised the past twelve years of Conservative governments.

Labour will deliver a new way of governing that will build a fairer, greener, more dynamic Britain with power closer to people. No more Westminster hoarding power, no more holding back this country’s economic potential.

Labour will modernise central government, so it becomes dynamic, agile, strategic and focused. It will be driven by clear, measurable objectives that will be focused on the needs of the people of this country: national missions which I will be sharing with you in the coming weeks and months.

A future Labour government will also introduce a Take Back Control Act in its first King’s speech as the initial step in its plans to oversee the biggest transfer of power from Westminster in British political history.

The Act will provide the framework and process for economic devolution to towns and cities across England, building on the work of the Future of the UK Commission, and form the cornerstone of Labour’s mission to rebuild Britain.

The Act will give English towns and cities , like Birmingham, the tools we need to develop credible, long-term growth plans, with bespoke packages of powers to support prosperity and growth.


Wages drop by almost 10% since 2010

I was appalled to hear how in every region across Great Britain, real wages are now lower than when the Tories came to power in 2010.

However, while real wages are down by an average of 5% across the country, wages in our constituency have fallen by 9.2% resulting in a £3,308 real terms cut.

The figures also follow the Government’s decision to scrap investment zones, further delay the announcement on the next round of levelling up bids and, with a return to Tory austerity, the promised devolution deals and innovation zones may also be in question. All of which would have a significant impact for Birmingham and its regional economy.

A crucial component of getting wages up and improving living standards is growing the economy. Something that has not only stalled under the Tories but when coupled with the Conservatives broken promises of levelling up Britain has had devastating consequences here in Birmingham.

Even before the cost of living crisis hit home, 28% of households in the West Midlands were facing financial difficulties. Now, people are having to face higher energy bills, mortgage rates and food bills all on substantially lower wages. These figures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to showing the Tories’ wholescale failure in Government.


More Mobile Household Recycling Centre visits coming soon

Your Labour-run council is recommitting this year to its promise to bring you the mobile household recycling centre (MHRC). There are a number of visits coming to the constituency soon. They will be in the following locations between 7am and 12pm so if you have any unwanted household items, make sure you use this award-winning free service.

  • 10/01/2023 - Yateley Road, Edgbaston, B15 3JP

  • 16/01/2023 - Kelmscott Road, Harborne, B17 8QW

  • 19/01/2023 - Faraday Avenue, Quinton, B32 1JU


Helping residents with pensions claims

The cost of living is having a huge impact on so many people. However, I am concerned about the help available for vulnerable people who depend on having a warmer home.

With more than 800,000 lower income eligible pensioners miss out on pension credit in the UK, last year, I wrote to all of those who are over 65 in the constituency to explain the eligibility criteria for pension credit.

I’ve been happy to intervene in over 30 cases where the Pensions Service has been slow to process claims. I've been able to get payments accelerated, with many receiving lump sums backdated payments. The most recent constituent received almost £1,025.20.

I am more than happy to help any constituent who would like my support with this. Please just email or 0121 392 8426.

Alternatively, Age UK has set up a Winter Hub which has lots of helpful information on ways you can look after your well-being and get support this winter.


How are you coping through the cost of living crisis?

We are stuck with a government that are too focused on themselves, putting the Tory party first and working people second. Thanks to their direct actions, we’ve been left with lower growth, lower investment, lower productivity, and the lowest consumer confidence since records began. The only things that are going up are inflation, interest rates and bankers’ bonuses. In spite of this, I am proud of how Labour is truly leading the way to tackle this crisis with bold and practical solutions.

I know that the cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on so many residents across Edgbaston constituency but it is affecting people in different ways. It would be useful for me to hear from you about how this is impacting you and your family.

Best wishes,

Preet Kaur Gill MP

Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton

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