Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge facing the modern world. It will be the world’s poorest countries who will be hit earliest and hardest. Global warming is happening now and we have only a very few years to stop it from becoming uncontrollable. But let’s be clear we can tackle climate change. But to do so we need action not just by governments but people around the world. We need popular pressure – pressure on Ministers, on local councillors, on our public services and businesses. I’ll be running various climate change campaigns over the next few months as we approach the crucial Copenhagen international meeting in December. I want to ensure we do our part here in Westminster both locally and in terms of putting pressure on the Government to press for an ambitious national deal.
Decent, Affordable, Local Homes
A sizable portion of the cases which residents bring to me on a daily basis are linked to housing. Whether it is problems with overcrowding, mortgages, poor repairs and maintenance, housing benefits or nuisance neighbours; housing matters to almost everyone in some way or other. At the national level, I have campaigned for extra investment in affordable homes to rent and to buy. Along with my staff I’m committed to working tirelessly to get residents decent, affordable, and local housing.
Ending Child Poverty
Just consider this for a moment: in inner London one child in two lives below the poverty line. That is a damning statistic in one of the richest cities in the world. So while I am extremely proud to have been a member of a party who introduced the groundbreaking commitment to eradicate child poverty by 2020 and which has helped reduce the number of children living in poverty by 600,000 I know that too many children still grow up in poverty. I am also all too familiar with the pernicious affects this has on their life chances. I have campaigned hard in Westminster and nationally to move towards the historic goal of eradicating child poverty and will continue to do so.
Endemic low pay affects around 5.3 million people – over a fifth of all employees in this country. It not only saps at people’s dignity at work but increases the chance of finding oneself in ‘working poverty.’ That’s why less than a fifth of low-paid adults (19 per cent) earned enough to lift their household out of poverty through their wages alone and why nearly half of the three million children living below the poverty line have at least one person at work in their household. I have campaigned vigorously against the injustice of low-paid work and for fair pay. I will continue to campaign to make the public aware of the struggle of low-paid workers in our community and to fight against unacceptable levels of low-paid employment and working poverty in our community.
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Karen Buck is the Labour MP for Westminster North. Read more »
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