From Ms A. Graham, Newport:
I am writing in reply to Bob Seely’s column (CP, letters 12-04-19). According to Bob, Islanders are better off due to this benevolent government. 

The reality for many of us is different to the rosy picture he painted.
He repeated the mantra about there being record levels of employment in this country.
The high number of jobs are part-time, not full-time, insecure jobs and with zero-hour contracts. 
According to the government, if you work as few as two hours a month you are classed as employed. 
According to the FT, our economy is sluggish and growth is slow. Brexit is blamed for this but austerity must be a factor.
Bob says low-paid workers are better off due to the rise in the so-called Living Wage, which gives us 38p more an hour. 
Of course, any raise is welcome but as the Living Wage in reality is not enough to live on, it is a misnomer. 
People like me are having to choose between heating and eating. 
Any money given to us is taken away somewhere else, so we gain nothing, and rents and bills still go up.
Bob praises Universal Credit, he says it makes people better off. 
People can wait between five and 12 weeks to get any money and are being made homeless as a result. People get less, not more. 
The roll out has been a disaster. 
It has caused stress, mental health issues and suicides. 
Bob, along with his party, voted to take free school meals away from children, 900,000 children will lose that.
Food banks use is rising. Aspire, the Pop-Up Soup Kitchen and their agencies are making sure people are being fed and receive help.
Cuts to services, as the government takes more money off councils, are hurting people, Bob.
They are sending children and families in to crisis,  school cuts are failing our children, mental health services are virtually non-existent, the Law Centre has been taken away.
Our hospital is struggling — you can’t keep underfunding the NHS and expect the staff and doctors to be able to continue as if this isn’t having a huge impact.
Sorry Bob, nice positive works count for nothing. Spend more time on the Island, visit those at the food banks, those on low incomes forced onto Universal Credit.
Look at our failing High Street. If it was all so great, why does it not look or feel that way?