Thank you to everyone who signed Angela Gartside’s petition calling on the Tories to take action to address the cost of living and keep energy bills affordable.
The Tory U-turn on cost of living measures was a huge win for Labour. Some of the new measures that have been announced – including a windfall tax – are welcome, and will ease the burden on many who are struggling, at least initially. But what has been announced does not go far enough to meet the challenges we face, and many questions remain. Interest rates are at their highest in over a decade. Meanwhile, energy bills are set to increase by even more eye-watering levels in the autumn.
The Chancellor claims that he is providing a total of £37bn in cost of living support this year, but most of that just compensates for the £35.4 billion of personal tax rises he has announced over the next two years.
We should have had an Emergency Budget to spike the hike in National Insurance, cut small business rates, provide help for energy intensive firms and ensure that every pound of taxpayers’ money is spent wisely.
We also needed a long term plan to protect our economy – fixing the causes, not just the symptoms, of the cost of living crisis. The Government has no vision and has had to be strongarmed into taking the limited action we are now seeing.
Councillor Angela Gartside said: “Many people in Withington, Ladybarn and South East Fallowfield signed my petition. It shows the strength of feeling on this issue, and that lots of residents are affected by rising cost of living. The Tories had to be dragged into a humiliating U-turn. However they still don’t have any long-term solutions to this crisis. Manchester’s Labour Council is working hard to support people with their bills and food costs. But, like our residents, we need more support from Government.”