Unemployment is expected to rise after Covid-19

File photo dated 28/11/13 of an Amazon package being prepared at an Amazon warehouse. The US tech fi

There is an Amazon warehouse in Brent - Credit: PA Images

Brent is home to James Bond (Daniel Craig), luxury apartments and multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Amazon warehouse.

Brent is also home to foodbanks, children not receiving proper meals and elderly residents having to choose between eating or heating their homes.

Writer Damian Barr said “we are all in the same storm but we are not all in the same boat”. Covid-19 has highlighted the differences in our community. A YouGov survey showed 56 per cent of people believe Covid-19 has increased the gap between the rich and the poor.

Zaffar Van Kalwala, former Stonebridge Labour councillor

Zaffar Van Kalwala is worried about the future of Brent post-Covid - Credit: Zaffar Van Kalwala

The super wealthy escaped the coronavirus with their private jets and country mansions. In Brent, 43pc of children live in poverty, almost 8,000 residents are unemployed and the borough had the highest number of murders in London.

Unemployment is expected to rise after Covid-19. Local residents need better paid jobs with opportunities to retrain and access to good quality occupations.

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The recent £20 per week increase in Universal Credit should be made permanent, which will help struggling Brent households.

There also needs to be an urgent increase in the amount of low-cost housing available for families on low incomes and increased support for residents who have high housing costs.

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It’s brilliant to see new investment in Brent – but who are all the new homes for? Many are unaffordable for my former Stonebridge constituents whose average earnings are £22,188 – the lowest in the borough.

In ‘Goldfinger’, James Bond says “Shocking, positively shocking”. Let's ensure Brent has a positively better future for everyone after the pandemic.

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