The Progressive Alliance which runs Milton Keynes City Council will declare a cost of living emergency at Full Council on Wednesday, with councillors set to raise their concerns about the Government’s ‘shambolic’ lack of action to support families through the worst financial crisis in a generation.
This comes as an estimated one in five adults across Milton Keynes are already behind on their household bills, and families are set to feel the catastrophic impact of crippling inflation, the energy crisis, wage stagnation and soaring mortgage rates this winter.
This year, Milton Keynes City Council has allocated over £18m in support for struggling residents and will soon unveil details of its emergency Winter Plan which features practical measures to support families through the winter.
Meanwhile, the Conservative Government has been heavily criticised for its poor response to the cost of living crisis. In Prime Minister Liz Truss’ 6 weeks in office, energy bills have doubled, real pay has fallen by 4%, and homeowners are having to pay an extra £1,000 on top of their mortgage.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Crooks will be moving the motion to declare a cost of living emergency:
“The cost of living crisis is already devastating families across the city, and it is only expected to get worse. The harsh reality is that, in the next few months, people will have to choose between heating their homes, putting food on the table, or getting themselves into debt. I hope that my fellow councillors will join me in condemning the Government’s sheer lack of action and declare a cost of living emergency immediately.”
Councillor Jane Carr, Liberal Democrat Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for the cost of living crisis, added:
“The people of Milton Keynes need reassurance as we head into an incredibly tough winter, but instead the Government has withdrawn help for families with energy bills beyond April 2023 after originally promising help to everyone for two years. This lack of stability has seen the Progressive Alliance step up to provide support where the Government has failed.
“By declaring a cost of living emergency, we are saying that enough is enough. Families need real practical support through this crisis.”
Councillor Emily Darlington is the Deputy Leader of the Labour Group and is Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South. She concluded:
“People on the lowest incomes are being hit hardest during this crisis. The Government’s plan to cut national insurance and limit energy bill rises gives richer homes £4,700 worth of support – but poorer homes receive less than HALF of this. It’s despicable given the fact that this financial support could limit the number of families plunging into poverty.
“Central Government has failed to prove whether they take this crisis seriously, and that is why we will request a comprehensive cost of living plan that outlines how Government will best support our residents during this tough time ahead.”