Responding to today’s inflation figures, Labour’s Cllr Jason Brock, Leader of Reading Borough Council, said:
“Families in Reading are being hammered by the cost of living crisis, but this Conservative government is making things worse with the imposition of the highest tax burden in 70 years.
“In Reading, your Labour Council has extended its support for families on the lowest incomes, providing help with energy costs alongside support for free school meals during the holidays. We’re also putting more funding into the voluntary sector to assist families, but there’s a limit to what we can achieve at a local level – a systematic approach is needed.
“Nationally, Labour has a plan – we urgently need an emergency budget, including a windfall tax on the astonishing profits of the oil and gas companies to fund real support on energy bills – up to £600 – for hard-pressed families.
“The Conservative Party has been asleep at the wheel, mired in scandal and in fighting while the rest of us face the worst squeeze on livings standards in living memory. It’s time to stop dithering and start acting – people in Reading need an emergency budget now.”
1. Inflation is now at 9% – a 40 year high: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61483175.
2. Labour has called on the government to bring forward an emergency budget – and prioritise five measures that could be enacted now, to make a material difference to the millions of pensioners and working people feeling the crunch from the crisis:
- Put a windfall tax on oil and gas producers to cut home energy bills: Bring in a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits, to cut household bills by up to £600, including through a VAT cut on home energy bills and an increase and expansion of the Warm Homes Discount.
- Provide support for struggling businesses: Labour would cut taxes for businesses by giving SMEs a discount on their business rates bill worth up to £5,700 this year, funded by a tax on the online giants. We’d also bring in a £600 million contingency fund, raised by the windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits, for those industries and businesses struggling the most with rising bills like steel and other energy-intensive firms.
- Spike the hike: Scrap the National Insurance hike which this government has introduced in the midst of a cost of living crisis.
- Insulate homes: Commit to a rapid ramp up of home upgrades with a clear target to meet by the end of the year, to make them more energy efficient and cheaper to heat, saving households £400 on average every year.
- Stop the waste: Allow the National Crime Agency to investigate the £11.8 billion of taxpayer funds lost to fraud and error, so no more taxpayer money is flushed down the drain.