Cost of living crisis information available to help Liverpool residents.
The initial phase will see the promotion of the range of welfare support available from Liverpool City Council, which is over and above that provided by many other local authorities and has been available for many years now.
Figures from April – August 2022 show demand for crisis payments from Liverpool Citizen Support Scheme, which makes emergency payments to people for food, clothing and white goods, are up by almost 30 per cent compared to the same period last year, with 8,500 applications.
There have also been more than 8,000 applications from tenants for help in making rent payments, known as Discretionary Housing Payments.
In total the council has paid out a combined total of £3.5 million for the schemes.
Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Fairness and Tackling Poverty, Cllr Jane Corbett, said:
“We now all face this Cost of Living crisis, following 12 years of austerity policy from the Government.
“Such is the seriousness of the situation that in Liverpool we have chosen to categorise it as an emergency, using our emergency planning system.
“We are absolutely determined to do what we can to get the most vulnerable residents through what is going to be an extremely tough winter.
“Our trusted partners will be working together and will let people know what support is available which can help them keep putting food on the table or pay for gas and electricity, keeping their heads above water.
“Helping and supporting our residents through the coming weeks and months is a priority for the council and its partners and we will be doing all we can to help respond to this crisis.
“We will continue to do what we can but we need a radical rethink by government on how we tackle poverty in this country and prevent it in the first place.”
The data chimes with the results of a recent ‘State of the Sector’ survey carried out by LCVS (Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services) which found that of 27 organisations questioned:
- 92 per cent said their service users had experienced food poverty in the last six months
- 81 per cent had struggled to pay bills
- 77% had experienced an increase in the number of people seeking support due to poverty
The campaign will focus on spreading awareness of the available support through a website – https://lpoolcouncil.info/costofliving.
Leaflets will also be distributed to council buildings, councillors and community organisations, with details of:
- How to check if you’re eligible for benefits through the Benefits Maximisation Service
- Emergency payments for food, clothing, fuel costs and white goods through Liverpool Citizen Support Service
- Getting help with rent through a Discretionary Housing Payment
- Claiming Council Tax Support if you are on a low income
- Contact details for local foodbanks and food projects
- Organisations to contact if you are in debt
- Government energy rebate and funded schemes
A special meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board is being held on Thursday 27 October, which will see partners and stakeholders coming together to discuss increased joint working and collaboration to tackle the Cost of Living crisis.