The Liberal Democrat-run City Council have announced a £1,900,000 support package for local families. This is will distributed by offering:
• £75 for every child eligible for free school meals, 2-year-old childcare funding or early years pupil premium this term
• £100 for every pensioner household on council tax support and/or Pension Credit and helping the voluntary sector support those missing out
• Grants for foodbanks, community meals, larders and pantries so they can help people in need
• Help for those who need food, face unaffordable rent costs or rent arrears or are in the rough sleeping pathway
• Grants for voluntary groups helping those in need
Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader of Portsmouth City Council Suzy Horton said: “I am proud to have been able to deliver the above for Portsmouth families and I’m confident we’re making the money help as many people as possible, but the reality is it isn’t enough. It isn’t enough to keep all the food banks and larders stocked up, it isn’t enough to provide free school meals during the holidays.”
“Portsmouth has some of the highest rates of deprivation in the South East and things are looking bleak for many residents. We need real intervention from the Conservative Government to remedy the impact of inflation, fuel hikes and credit cuts.” she added.
Despite the £1,900,000 support package, we know it isn’t enough. That is why Portsmouth Liberal Democrats are declaring a ‘Cost of Living Emergency’ at Portsmouth City Council's Full Council meeting on Tuesday and calls on the Conservative Government to immediately adopt our rescue plan:
• Impose a windfall tax on the super profits of oil and gas companies and to use this to take an average of £600 off the cost of Portsmouth residents' energy bills this year. Urgently review the energy cap regime in order to provide much greater protection to consumers, as other European countries have done.
• Undertake an investigation into forecourt fuel prices, and put in place transparency on fuel taxes and independent regulation for solid fuels/ petrol and diesel.
• Demonstrate a real and immediate investment in U.K. renewables and decarbonise the energy sector.
• Immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20% to 17.5% for one year, saving the average Portsmouth household a further £600 this year.