Over 19 thousand “squeezed middle” families in South Gloucestershire won’t receive any help with soaring energy bills, analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
The Government is only offering a Council Tax rebate on households in council bands A-D. This means households in bands E-F across the country will not receive this support to help cope with soaring energy bills.
A staggering 19,170 households in South Gloucestershire are in Bands E and F, making up 15.6% of homes in the area. This is above the national average of homes in Bands E and F across England and Wales.
The figures are based on analysis of official council tax data by the Liberal Democrats, who warned that the Conservatives are abandoning the “squeezed middle” and leaving families in South Gloucestershire out in the cold.
The party has set out a “cost of living rescue plan” that would save struggling families in South Gloucestershire nearly £1,000 each this year. This would include doubling and expanding the Warm Home Discount, scrapping the planned National Insurance tax hike and ensuring low-income families can access cheaper broadband deals.
The Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition Group on South Gloucestershire Council, Claire Young, said:
“Thousands of families in South Gloucestershire facing skyrocketing energy bills have been left out in the cold by the Conservatives.
“This plan is a betrayal of the squeezed middle, who face a triple whammy of rising mortgage costs, soaring energy bills and unfair tax hikes.
“This could be the final straw for households who are drowning in endless increases to their monthly bills.
“The Liberal Democrats' rescue plan would save struggling families up to £1,000 this year. We are demanding that the Conservatives drop their unfair tax hike, and focus on tackling the cost of living crisis instead of making it worse."
Full data available here.
Original source here (Number of properties by Council Tax band and administrative area at 13 September 2021).
The cost of living rescue package being proposed by the Liberal Democrats includes:
Cutting household energy bills: Taking £300 off the heating bills of around 7.5 million vulnerable and low income households, by doubling the Warm Homes Discount and expanding it to all those on Universal Credit. This would be funded through a one-off Robin Hood tax on the record profits of oil and gas producers and traders including Russia’s Gazprom based in London.
Reversing planned tax rises: Scrapping the National Insurance tax hike and the freezing of Income Tax thresholds in April. This would save a working family on Universal Credit an estimated £403 this year.
Offering cheaper broadband: Forcing broadband providers to offer vulnerable customers cheaper deals of around £15 a month through social tariffs, benefitting up to eight million households and saving them up to £270 each this year. These tariffs are currently offered by some broadband providers on a voluntary basis, but the government could order the regulator Ofcom to make them mandatory by using a change in the law introduced in 2020.
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