Following news that Torbay is the area most at risk of rising poverty in England, local MP Adrian Sanders has called on the Government to refine its economic policy.
Figures compiled by credit-rating company Experian showed that around 22,000 households in Torbay were at risk of poverty if the economy takes a turn for the worse. Mr Sanders has argued that this is a result of the lack of high quality, full time jobs in the Bay.
In the current recession Torbay has been relatively insulated from the high unemployment levels of previous recessions but this has masked the pressure on living standards as the cost of housing, fuel and food rises while local wages remain comparatively low.
Mr Sanders has urged the Government to concentrate on investing in skills, affordable housing and better transport links to help reduce the danger of poverty to these 22,000 families.
Mr Sanders commented:
“The global financial crisis will naturally cause hardship but it is the duty of Government to lessen this pressure as much as it can. We already have the vital investment for the bypass, which will encourage investment locally and work is progressing well on the skills agenda.
“What is now needed is a clear strategy for revamping the housing market. Housing costs in Torbay have rocketed compared to wages while demand for low cost housing has increased enormously. Direct Government investment in good quality family homes will be the simplest way to rectify this problem and reduce the danger of poverty locally and I will be encouraging Ministers to look at this closely.”