Woking Council Declares Cost of Living Emergency

July 25, 2022 1:30 PM

Woking Council has declared a cost-of-living emergency, following a motion proposed by the new Leader of the Council, CllrAnn-Marie Barker, and supported unanimously by the Liberal Democrat Group.

This highlights the increasing price that residents will pay for utility bills -as the price cap from Ofgem rises to an average of £708 per year for those who use pre-pay meters. The motion passed by Woking Council also recognises the recent 300% increase in food bank use across Surrey in recent months compared to the same point in 2019.

Woking Council in passing the motion has also noted and welcomed the recent windfall tax on energy companies and the benefit of redistributing this as a one-off payment to households, as originally called for by Liberal Democrats. As a result of this campaigningto national government, residents will already receive a one-off payment of £400 per household later thisyear.Woking Liberal Democrats ,by drafting and voting for the motion, have set out a number of further steps that could further reduce the damage of the cost-of-livingsqueeze. As a result of the successful Liberal Democrat motion, Woking Council will also:

  • Arrange a Woking Cost-Of-Living Summit in the autumn with local organisations from Woking Citizens Advice to York RoadProject, Lighthouse, Woking Chambers of Commerce and others, to enable the new administration to co-ordinate all available local help.•
  • Officially call on the central UK government to immediately reduce the rate of VAT to 17.5% from the current rate of 20%, therebypotentiallysaving the average Woking household £600 per year.

Woking Liberal Democrats will also be campaigning as a political group for this emergency VAT cut to ease bills for residents, assisting the official Woking Council contacts.

The declaration also follows this week's announcement that UK inflation has reached 9.4% over the year to June 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics -the highest level on record in four decades.

Cllr Ann-Marie Barker, Leader of Woking Borough Council comments: "This shows our Council's commitment to do everything we can for local people facing an awful storm of rising prices in the shops, spiraling bills and diligent local charities feeling the strain. As Leader of the Council I will do everything within my power to support residents."

"It is also good to see that the Lib Dems'campaigning over the windfall tax and energy rebate worked.Butit'salso vital that more is done by central government to support the hard work done locally."