Poplar & Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick thinks many of us will have the same worries going into 2014.

PUBLISHED: 15:27 11 December 2013 | UPDATED: 15:27 11 December 2013


Warm Christmas greetings to all east Londoners. It was great fun to start the festive season with many of you the other week when I turned on the Crisp Street Market lights and officially kicked off Christmas in Poplar. At this time of year there's a tendency to think about what kind of year we've all had and remind ourselves what we're thankful for. There's been a lot to feel optimistic about. From a nice hot summer to finally some good news about the economy, I know a lot of people will have some very happy memories from 2013.

However, many people will also look back on a year where there hasn’t been a big enough change in their fortunes. People will be worried about making ends meet in 2014 while others will be worried about job security and childcare. No matter how optimistic we feel, we’re still going to have these concerns, whether they’re major or minor ones.

That’s why when I look back on the year I see a government which hasn’t done enough to help people. I’ll be the first to admit there’s been some positive news in 2013 but I still believe we should be doing more. At Christmas we tend to think about who deserves what, given the year they’ve had. I think everyone deserves to have their heating bills frozen, small businesses deserve a helping hand, working parents deserve free childcare and low earners deserve a fair tax break. That’s what I’ve supported in 2013 and that’s what I’ll continue to support in 2014.

It’s also really important to think of others. There’s plenty going on, from night shelters to the annual Christmas lunches, delivered to pensioners by Sister Christine and Neighbours in Poplar on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Last weekend I shopped too early at Waitrose Canary Wharf to see our Tower Hamlets Foodbank but stopped by the neighbourhood food collection at Tesco Bromley-by-Bow. If you’re going to carry out one act of kindness this Christmas I’d strongly encourage everyone to make a donation to their local food bank. No matter what you give it will go a long way in helping families at a time when budgets can be tight.

Happy Christmas and best wishes for the new year!

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