Shadow Chancellor visits Barry to discuss "cost of living crisis"
Updated 4:36pm Monday 19th May 2014 in News
SHADOW Chancellor Ed Balls MP has paid a visit to Barry to talk about the "cost of living crisis" with Morrisons staff before paying a visit to the Island.
Mr Balls said that problems in Barry are similar to places all over the UK, and emphasised the sort of money troubles that have forced Barry to open two Foodbanks that have served more than 6,000 people in need.
"The government has said that the cost of living crisis is over but there's still a big squeeze going on," he said.
"It's happening right across the UK. People are under pressure, and the same thing is happening in Barry.
"These are not people who are out of work, these are people who are in work and at the end of the week their money has run out.
"Bills are going out faster than wages are coming in and that is why the number of people visiting Foodbanks is so high."
Barry Councillor Chris Elmore, who was accompanying Mr Balls on his visit, added: "This is a massive problem.
"There are two food banks in Barry and four across the whole county and they can't keep up with the demand."
Mr Balls, who was visiting Barry with Councillor Elmore and Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith MP, said that places like Barry Island particularly suffer during times of austerity when there is a lack of disposable income that would encourage people into Barry for holidays and trips.
He said that only Labour, who set out plans to raise the minimum wage and tackle low pay this week, would be able to turn things around if they are voted in at next year's general election.
"People are struggling to make ends meet," he said.
"David Cameron and George Osborne dismiss this as being not a big deal.
"Nigel Farage has described himself as the heir to Thatcher. Do people in Barry want Thatcher back?"
Cllr Elmore said: "We are on the side of the working people and people here are not getting a fair deal."
From Morrisons Mr Balls travelled to Barry Island where - despite the skies opening upon his arrival - he enjoyed an ice cream at Marco's Cafe before having his photo taken in front of the iconic Gavin and Stacy sign.
"You can't come to Barry Island and not have an ice cream at Marco's," he said.