Lewes District Council has declared a cost of living emergency

Lewes District Council has declared a cost of living emergency.

The motion was proposed by Lib Dem Councillor Rob Banks (Plumpton, Streat, East Chiltington and St John Without), who described current price rises and inflation as a ‘perfect storm’ for local residents. 

The Leader of the Council, Lib Dem Councillor James MacCleary, will now write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ask for a reduction in the rate of VAT for one year to 17.5% from 20% (saving the average family £600),  an immediate return of the £20 Universal Credit supplement and the reversal of cuts to Working Tax Credit.

rob_banks_ditchling_road_plumpton_600_head.jpgCouncillor Banks said: “This is without any doubt a perfect storm for so many of our residents in both food and fuel costs and I’m calling on the government to do much more to help. Lib Dem leader Ed Davey was correct to call for a windfall tax on oil and gas companies and we must put this funding to good use.

"We also need to do more to support residents clobbered by rising energy costs. For example, there is no price cap on the cost of domestic heating oil or LPG for those in rural areas, which in some cases have more than trebled. Of course, we also want to see a far greater use of alternative energy sources such as air source heat pumps to encourage people to move away from fossil fuels.

“The motion that my fellow councillors supported included calling for the price cap to be extended to cover those using heating oil and LPG  and for a range of measures that could avert severe hardship that is currently on course to hit millions of UK residents.”

Councillor Banks is also calling on the government to deliver an extension of free school meals, and a £25 billion fund across the country to enable the insulation of homes.

The council will host a Cost-of-Living Emergency Summit, with stakeholders, including Citizens Advice, foodbanks, chambers of commerce, trade unions and local MPs, all invited to play their part in developing a Food and Fuel Action Plan.

“We know that the most vulnerable in our society are going to be hit hardest by these eye watering increases in day-to-day costs, so there can be no delay, we must act decisively and act now.”

A link to the motion can be seen on page 27 from the July 18th meeting: https://democracy.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/documents/g3657/Public%20reports%20pack%2018th-Jul-2022%2018.00%20Lewes%20District%20Council%20Full%20Council.pdf?T=10

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