The Journalism Department hosted a Newsweek panel on the cost of the living crisis on Tuesday 24th 2023.
The panellists featured experts from Bloody Good Period, the Federation of Small Businesses, the London General Assembly, the End Child Poverty Coalition and the Felix Project debating the cost of living crisis and how different industries are affected by it.
Nikki Iyayi of Bloody Good Period; a charity organisation which champions menstrual equity by providing access to free period products, was quick to emphasise that although we’ve coined the term ‘cost of living’, people are not actually living. “Is it living if you are just paying bills?”, she says.
Similarly, Phillip Kerle, Kitchen manager from The Felix Project; an organisation that collects fresh, nutritious food that cannot be sold and delivers them to vulnerable groups such as community kitchens, housing shelters and food banks, says some would deem them the 4th emergency during this period. “There are 400,000 children across London who will go to bed without a meal,” he says.
Iyayi also added that her work in fighting for menstrual equity is as vulnerable as ever. During times of inflation, buying period products are not a priority for women who menstruate. “It falls lower on people’s priority list, so some women are using tissues or even nappies during this time.”
The audience echoed this dire sentiment with participants questioning former conservative MP and member of the General Assembly, Andrew Boff, on whether his party has destroyed our economy and thrown numerous civilians into poverty. “Poverty is what should be attacked and not the party,” he stresses.
Boff suggests that the government focus on providing jobs and boosting the economy.
The panel also discussed how various issues such as Brexit, the war in Ukraine and Covid-19 have contributed to a struggling economy.
With an election looming next year, the economy is one issue that will be at the heart of the voting polls.