A RAT chief fears that families in trouble will face a “perfect storm” this winter after the universal credit cut.
Stockton Council chairman Bob Cook expressed concern when a new ten-year plan was passed Thursday to address the county’s serious health problems.
The £ 20 increase on the universal loan was withdrawn earlier this month.
Cllr Cook told his cabinet colleagues that the council was considering actions they could take now to address the power cut as well as the increase in fuel and energy bills.
The Labor leader added: “I am sure there will be people who will receive universal credit for the first time in their lives.
“The pandemic has not helped hospitality companies in particular if they have not been able to open.
“We know there are going to be problems soon – obviously it’s a perfect storm with prices and inflation soaring.
“Fuel and energy are the elixir of life in every house.”
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Nine of Stockton’s 56 counties are among the 10 percent most deprived in the country, with an average life expectancy of 21 years between the most and least deprived areas.
Working to close the gap in the poorest neighborhoods and those who are marginalized will be part of the council’s long-term vision, alongside charities and other institutions.
Cllr Ann McCoy, Cabinet Member for Adult Welfare, feared that Stockton’s food banks are currently running out.
And Cllr Cook believed there would be problems in the next six months.
Cllr Jim Beall, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Health, said that Stockton is a “strange” district because it has some very wealthy and very poor communities. And he supported the 10-year plan.
“It won’t be an easy task, but if you don’t try, you’ll never succeed,” added Cllr Beall. The leaders, however, are firmly pushing the blame for the problems on the government’s doorstep.
Cllr Steve Nelson believed the Council and Partners could not fill the gap on their own.
“It’s really a mitigation exercise – we’re taking the parts of this government in,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cllr Cook said that “12 years of austerity” had cut wages.
“People’s wages have been frozen for several years,” he added.
“I know local government and the public sector were probably the worst performers. Parts of the private sector hardly get inflationary increases.
“You are starting to see them now as some industries are short of labor and they need to raise wages.
“But this government has spoken of a high-wage economy when it has cut wages in the past 12 years.”
In the past, government officials have pointed to the £ 400 billion they spent on livelihoods, business support and public services during the pandemic – and that the universal loan increase was “always temporary.”
The spokesman added, “It was designed to help applicants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest periods of the pandemic, and it has done so.
“The Universal Loan will continue to provide vital support to both the unemployed and the unemployed, and it is right that the government focus on our ‘Plan for Jobs’, helping people get back into work and helping those already in work progress to achieve and earn more. ”
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