Bangle bracelets

Marie Louise McConville: The cost of living is the big issue for families this election

So it’s people again when a steady stream of strangers come knocking on our doors asking us to trust them to sort this country out.

If the representatives of the political parties have not yet rung your doorbell, I assure you that they are coming.

With the polls open just weeks away, the campaign will soon kick into high gear.

Of course, the vast majority of households don’t see these folks from election to election, but you don’t have to be a Mensa member to understand that the cost of living crisis is leading the way. agenda this time around for many.

And when someone knocked on my door in recent weeks, I had only one question to ask: what exactly is your party doing to help working families like mine survive in the current climate?

Like many, we receive no benefits or fuel payments.

We get no help with childcare and we have no luxuries – no smart TVs, no games consoles, iPads, Netflix, Amazon Prime or Sky.

We barely socialize at all because it’s so expensive and yet we have to raise our salaries, in the face of rampant inflation, to cover all the rising costs.

I’m sure we’re not the only ones who have no choice but to cut our fabric to fit our budget and that’s exactly what we do.

When payday rolls around, we budget for the essentials for the month and with rising fuel, power and food prices, the cost of doing this increases every month.

We have seen our groceries increase by just over £80 in recent months.

Diesel has skyrocketed and in the past month our child care costs have gone up.

But what can we do?

We cannot do without food, we depend on the car and we rely on childcare, if we are both to continue working.

It certainly created some very anxious moments and quite a few sleepless nights – because things are only going to get worse.

So what I want to know is what the political parties intend to do to help people like my family and the thousands of others like us who work and struggle, as well as those who receive allowances.

It’s very simple, if you want the parents to work, the government must provide support for childcare costs.

Plus, working families feel the cold like everyone else, so we also deserve payment for fuel.

Life is absolutely sucked out of working families in this country.

Outings to the cinema and to the ice cream parlor quickly become a thing of the past. What we have now are parents struggling to heat their homes and to feed themselves and their children.

So if you come to my door in the next few weeks to solicit my vote, I suggest you bring your armor.

I’m ready to fight – so who’s first?

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I was truly saddened this week to learn of the passing of soap legend June Brown.

The 95-year-old, who played Dot Cotton in EastEnders for 35 years, was a chain-smoker, laundry worker, died at her home in Surrey with her family by her side.

She last appeared on the soap in 2020, before leaving at the age of 93.

The actress is remembered as “purely an incredible woman who had the most incredible life and career”.

It’s sad to think that we won’t see Dot Cotton in the square again.

Thanks for the June memories.

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TV presenter Cat Deeley has revealed how she plans to wear her young children’s teeth as chic jewelry.

Now I know I can be a bit eccentric at times, but Cat, 45, who is married to Co Down comedian Patrick Kielty, plans to wear the teeth of Milo, 6, and James, 3 – around her. wrist.

Speaking on The Sheerluxe Show podcast, the former SMTV star shared her unorthodox plans for a special bracelet.

The TV personality revealed that she plans to dip baby teeth in liquid gold before wearing them as jewelry.

She said she first thought of the plan when her youngest child, Milo, lost a tooth.

“The tooth fairy came. But she had very little change and had to give notes,” she said.

“So I’m like, ‘What am I going to do with this tooth?’.”

Cat, who previously presented “So You Think You Can Dance?”, said she asked London-based artist Connor Joseph to design the bracelet.

“I’m going to dip his teeth in gold and attach them one by one to my bracelet. They’ll hang down and it’ll look crazy,” she said.


Contest winners

The winners of the A Taste of Deceit competition are Mary Conway, from Downpatrick, Ann Mellon, from Ballygawley and Charles Kelly, from Belfast