The Progressive Alliance is calling on the Government to step up and provide better financial support for struggling families, following the news that average household energy bills could soar to £3,615 this winter.
New research has shown that the already-crippling bills could reach new highs by January 2023. This, partnered with inflation sitting at its highest in forty years, rising food costs and staggering fuel prices, could plunge even more families into poverty.
Currently, over 17,000 households in the city are ‘seriously struggling’ with their finances even before they’re faced with a colossal energy hike. Considering the current wholesale gas prices, increasing energy bills show no sign of subsiding.
Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors have criticised the Government’s mere offer of financial help for energy bills, which is just a fraction of the costs that families will face.
Councillor Jane Carr, Liberal Democrat Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Tackling Social Inequalities, said:
“Thousands of local families are already struggling to make ends meet, and it’s frightening to think that energy bills could soar even further. As the weather grows colder, the cost-of-living crisis will only worsen. The Government are failing the people of Milton Keynes – a few hundred pounds off energy bills does nothing, especially when you’re facing an increase in the thousands. That’s why the Progressive Alliance has stepped up to provide half a million pounds to help people through the energy crisis, and we are spending millions of pounds in direct financial support. But sadly we can’t do it all, the Government aren’t doing enough and they need to do better.”
The Labour/Liberal Democrat Progressive Alliance has put aside over £18 million pounds in their 2022/23 budget to help struggling residents as bills skyrocket, 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