The issue of rising costs on family budgets is something which is affecting all of us.
Taken together, the pressures caused by global events including the rise in wholesale gas prices, Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic have unavoidably caused a strain on the cost of living.
Action is being taken to help and this is reaching households in Crawley. My thanks to Crawley local authority staff who have been working hard to ensure the council tax rebates of £150 for homes in bands A to D are being processed and this support being delivered.
This Government assistance covers 80 per cent of households in England, with local authorities being provided over £140 million to support those not falling into this category. If this applies to you please contact Crawley Borough Council to see what support you may be able to receive.
The council tax rebate and the discretionary funding are in addition to the £200 ‘smoothing’ rebate on energy bills for all households in Great Britain, which is to be paid back over the next five years.
At the start of last month the National Living Wage was increased by more than 6 per cent, rising to £9.50 an hour. This works out as an extra £1,000 a year for a full-time worker.
National Insurance is also going to be reduced, with a £6 billion tax cut for 30 million working people from July. This is worth more than £330 a year, marking the largest increase in a starting personal tax threshold in British history, and the largest single personal tax cut in a decade.
The Chancellor would have been right to go further by not going ahead with the rise in National Insurance contributions, however it remains the case that 70 per cent of people will pay less tax even after this.
Further support being provided includes the doubling of the Household Support Fund to £1 billion. The Warm Homes Discount is also being increased and eligibility extended by a third to 3 million vulnerable households.
It is also right to see how we can secure greater opportunities for local people going forward.
Last December I was pleased to welcome the Department for Education confirm £10 million of investment for a new Institute of Technology on the Crawley College campus.
Institutes of Technology are special collaborations between employers, colleges and universities, delivering the skilled workforce businesses need and getting more people into jobs closer to home.
This facility will be for people in Crawley and throughout the south east of England to train for technical careers, as part of the Government’s work to address skills gaps, with our community at its heart.
Henry Smith MP