Is your wallet empty?
Is your wallet empty?

Many people in Bristol are already under pressure due to a steep rise in food and fuel prices. So what’s the Labour party proposing could be done about it and what is the Tory government actually doing?

There is a big difference between Labour’s costed plan and Tory delay and debt

The difference between Labour and Tory could not be starker. We would cut bills, insulate homes and take on big fossil fuel producers; the government is giving an insufficient loan and a poorly targeted council tax rebate. For the least well off, Labour’s plan would mean £600 this year. Under the Tories, the most they can get will be £350 and most of that is debt!

Labour’s proposals to help

This government could have decided to implement Labour’s proposal:

  1. Cut VAT on energy bills saving every household £200;
  2. £400 in extra targeted support for 8 million households on the lowest incomes, by expanding the Warm Homes Discount;
  3. Additional money for industries which use large amounts of energy – which helps to protect jobs.

This package was voted through Parliament on a Labour motion last week – the government could just pick that up and a Labour government would have brought this in weeks ago.

To pay for Labour’s plan we would:

  • Use the increase in VAT receipts that is significantly more than the government expected to raise this year. That’s money already coming in, but not budgeted for.
  • Make those with the most resources contribute to helping people who are struggling. Last week, Shell announced profits of over £6 billion and the CEO announced this as a good result for them. Labour would bring in a windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas producers.

Labour’s plan for housing improvements would also help as we would insulate millions of homes, which would cut fuel bills and carbon emissions.

Please read my blog, for further details on Labour’s plan.

But this Tory government has delayed and is letting people down

Last Thursday (3rd Feb), after months of delay, the Chancellor finally announced how the government plans to support the British public during this difficult period. But what they announced as a compulsory loan to fuel customers, whether we want it or not, of £200 loan to be repaid over 5 years scheme and a £150 rebate on council tax for some households.

This is frankly not going to be enough to see us through the cost of living crisis.

They’ve also not considered the impact on first-time-home-owners who will not have had the benefit of the loan but will have to repay it in their bills.

In homes where a landlord pays the bill, they could be able to keep the rebates but not pass these onto the tenants – loading more costs onto working people at the worst possible time.

And not forgetting that in April, there will be an additional hit on people’s disposable income as energy prices, water bills, council tax and National Insurance tax increase.

My survey

To understand the situation better, I’ve set up a survey on the impact of the cost of living crisis on Bristol’s households. Please take a minute to tell me your concerns and how I can help. I also plan to hold an event in the coming weeks, where a group of experts from support agencies, charities, and govt. bodies can share advise on the various avenues of support available to people. Do share your details in the above form, if you think such an event will be of use to you, and you would like to participate.

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