South Gloucestershire Council has taken a strong stance against "poverty premium". This problem arises when lower-income households are forced to pay more for essential services, such as energy, loans, and insurance, compared to their more financially comfortable neighbours.
Statistics reveal that a 20% of households in South Gloucestershire are bearing the brunt of this burden, collectively coughing up nearly £9 million each year. On average, this translates to an extra expense of over £400 annually for the affected households, akin to three weeks of groceries for a typical family of four.
Councillor Claire Young, expressed her commitment to addressing these issues. She remarked,
"We cannot stand idle while a significant portion of our community is unfairly burdened with extra costs".
Councillor Chris Davies who proposed the motion said
"The passage of this motion marks our resolve to create a more level playing field for all residents. It is high time the government takes meaningful action to ensure that economic status does not dictate the cost of essential services".
The council condemned the Government for doing too little to tackle the poverty premium and believes that tackling the poverty premium is an essential part of levelling up. The council called upon the Government to act urgently to address these additional costs to our lowest income residents.
In addition the council committed to endorsing the "Fair By Design" roadmap as a blueprint for combating the "poverty premium".
Instructing the Leader of the Council to communicate with the relevant government minister to demand swift and comprehensive action to tackle all forms of the "poverty premium".
Locally, South Gloucestershire Council will actively work on addressing the "poverty premium". This will involve collaborations with various entities to explore alternative credit and banking options, promote benefits uptake, encourage local businesses to commit to Poverty Premium Proofing, ensure cost-efficient energy for tenants, and support low-income employees in avoiding the "poverty premium".
South Gloucestershire Council is committed to creating a more equitable community where financial disparities do not translate into unfair burdens for the most vulnerable residents.
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