New data shows that an estimated 17,750 local families are in serious financial difficultly, all while the Conservatives are distracted trying to fix their crumbling government.
Research conducted by Bristol University and Abrdn Financial Fairness Trust has found that rising prices have pushed more people into "serious financial difficulties" than the pandemic. These families are forced into reducing the quality of the food they eat, selling or pawning possessions or cancelling or not renewing insurance.
A total of 4.4m households - one in six across the country - are now estimated to be in such difficulties, up 1.6m over the last nine months, with single parents, renters, people with disabilities, and families with three or more children the groups facing the most difficulties. This is worse than any point during the pandemic.
The analysis, published today by the Labour and Lib-Dem run Progressive Alliance, comes as the Conservative leadership race continues to ignore the worst cost of living crisis in generations.
Councillor Jane Carr, Lib Dem Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Social Inequalities, said:
“Every family in Milton Keynes is feeling the pinch from the cost of living crisis, and these figures reveal that over 17,000 households are seriously struggling to make ends meet.
“Families in the city need a government focussed on the cost of living crisis and providing real help. The Conservatives’ leadership contest has nothing to say about the real concerns of people in Milton Keynes. Instead it’s all fantasy tax cuts for big business and invented, irrelevant controversies.”
Councillor Zoe Nolan, Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Children and Families, added:
“The Progressive Alliance is doing all it can to support families through this incredibly tough time. We are providing over £16m in direct cost-of-living support, opening more food larders, and are providing thousands of free meals and activity sessions for children through the Summer of Play – but we can’t do it all. The Government needs to step up and provide real help for people struggling, and they need to do it now.”