Council asked to declare Cost of Living Emergency

Released: Monday, 11 July 2022

Council staff could work closely with health and education experts, unions and the community in an urgent focus to get help for those most in need in Worthing.

A motion to be considered by Worthing Borough Council calls for the declaration of a Cost of Living Emergency for the town and the launching of a multi-agency strategy to help those struggling to cope with the impact of inflation on their bills.

The strategy would be linked to every piece of work by the Council and its partners to reduce poverty and help grow the economy of the town.

It says that an estimated 12,000 Worthing residents are skipping meals or eating deliberately smaller portions because they cannot afford to buy enough food - and that the total is rising as more people find themselves struggling.

The motion has been put forward by Cllr Carl Walker, the Deputy Leader of the Council, and Cllr Emma Taylor, Worthing's Cabinet Member for Citizen Services.

Cllr Walker said:

“It's unacceptable that in Worthing today there are people who have to choose between eating and paying the bills, or who have to skip a meal just so they can afford to feed their children.

“The cost of living crisis has become so severe that it needs to be treated as an emergency. Our Council will do everything we can to support those in most need going forward, but central government needs to act decisively to address the strain on families around the country. Rising food, fuel and housing costs mean we now need a real living wage, a benefits system that allows people to feed their families and a willingness to address huge income inequalities by making sure that massive corporate profits for a few aren't prioritised over the many families who are struggling to eat.

“As a Council and a community we will work together to ensure we do everything we can to support those most in need.”

Cllr Taylor said:

“Declaring a Cost of Living Emergency is the first step in addressing the issue by highlighting that action is needed right now to help those struggling to get by.

“As a Council we will do everything we can to get help and support to those most in need, including those who may be suffering in silence.”

The motion also calls on the Council to urge the government to take urgent action, including:

  • rebalancing UK tax law so that the most well off contribute more
  • helping the least well off by increasing the level of benefits
  • scrapping VAT on domestic energy bills, and cutting fuel duty on petrol and diesel during the energy crisis
  • scrapping the planned National Insurance increase
  • immediately banning landlords from evicting tenants without giving a reason

The motion will be considered at a meeting of the full Council on 19th July 2022 (click to read the full text)

See also: Worthing Council - Tuesday, 19th July 2022 (Item 11)


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Page last updated: 25 November 2022

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