Felixstowe: Harriet Harman hears residents’ concerns over falling living standards

SHOPPERS voiced their concerns over their falling standard of living to Labour party deputy leader Harriet Harman as she visited Felixstowe town centre.

The MP – understood to have a hideaway holiday home on the peninsula – was supporting campaigning council candidates as they took to the election trail to try and persuade voters to give them their backing in next month’s district and town ballots.

She wandered down Hamilton Road through the new �2.8 million shared space shopping area and then down to the seafront, talking to people.

“It’s a beautiful day and very relaxing here but underneath that people have got a lot of worries,” said Ms Harman.

“I have met a woman about to go back to work after her maternity leave – she wants to give her husband, who works hard, and their two children a better standard of living, but she is losing her tax credit and VAT has gone up, and they are working harder and harder and feeling they are slipping back,” she said.

“Young people have told me of their concerns over tuition fees, and an NHS worker told me she had more and more patients to look after and was being spread more thinly.

“But the biggest worry is the standard of living. Unemployment is still going up and the economy is not yet back on its feet and there are worries that the cuts are going to make it even more difficult with people able to spend less in the high street and the economy will shrink further.

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“We need to cut the deficit but it’s too far and too fast.”

She accepted it would be difficult for Labour in such a Tory stronghold as Felixstowe and Suffolk Coastal but felt it important that people had an alternative voice to represent all sections of the electorate.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition believes the cuts are necessary now to reduce the deficit quickly to boost the economy.