Council fears families in Milton Keynes will struggle as Government’s energy plan falls short
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Labour and Lib Dem councillors have criticised the Government’s lack of financial help and support for families who need it most amid the cost of living crisis.
It says struggling families will be worse off with energy bills, typically £1,277 last winter, expected to double while higher income households may not see an increase at all.
The council also points to research conducted by a leading think tank showing that if the Government cuts National Insurance and limits energy bill rises, richer homes will get support worth £4,700 in 2023 while the poorest will only receive £2,200.
Councillor Robin Bradburn, Lib Dem Deputy Leader of Milton Keynes Council, said: “This plan has really failed the people of Milton Keynes; the Government has failed to target those who need help the most.
"Those with less money spend more of their income on energy, so as the weather grows colder, the cost of living crisis will only worsen.”
Councillor Rob Middleton, Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Resources, added: “The Progressive Alliance has already provided half a million pounds to help families through the energy crisis, as well as millions of pounds in direct financial support. But unfortunately, we can’t do it all, the Government must do more.”
The Labour/Liberal Democrat Progressive Alliance has put aside over £18 million pounds in their 2022/23 budget to help struggling residents, including:
> Over £15 million to help residents on low incomes pay their Council Tax bill
> Over £3 million for concessionary public transport fares
> Half a million pounds to help people struggling with the energy crisis
> £150,000 to maintain a Local Welfare Provision Scheme, which can help residents in need by providing items such as beds, cookers, and fridge freezers
This month, the council also announced an additional £500,000 support package to help residents struggling with the cost-of-living this winter. The support includes a telephone helpline, online voucher portal, home energy performance reviews, and energy crisis community drop-in sessions.
> Last winter the typical household paid £1,277 per year whilst a typical bill will now be capped to £2,500 annually until 2024.