Greenwich Council is to receive a further £4.7million from the Government's Household Support Fund, to support local people with the cost of living in 2023/24. The extended funding follows previous rounds of funding from the Household Support Fund, which has been used to fund the Council's 'Greenwich Supports' programme.
The announcement from central Government coincided with last month's Budget-setting meeting at Woolwich Town Hall, at which Labour councillors voted against a fully-costed Conservative proposal for a £100 Cost Of Living Payment for nearly 16,000 people on the very lowest incomes in our borough. The Labour administration's budget included nothing for these households on the very lowest incomes who receive 'full' Local Council Tax Support, with separate Government funding being passported through to help those receiving 'partial' support.
Councillor Matt Hartley, Leader of the Conservative Opposition on Greenwich Council, said: "I am pleased the Government has extended the Household Support Fund, which means even more money will be available to fund the Council's 'Greenwich Supports' programme in the coming year. After being slow to respond to the cost of living crisis last year, I really hope the new group of Labour councillors running the Council will reconsider their decision to reject my proposal for an additional Cost Of Living Payment.
"Our fully costed plan - linked to the Council's own efficiencies programme - would deliver £100 to those in our community who are the most impacted by rising prices - and Labour councillors should think again and get this money into people's pockets. In the meantime, thanks to this new central Government funding, the Council will also be able to continue its 'Greenwich Supports' approach for another year."
Announcing the Household Support Fund extension, Mims Davies, MP, Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression, said: The Household Support Fund has already helped vulnerable families across England through these challenging times and I am pleased it will continue to do so for another full year. This is just one part of our extensive and targeted £26 billion support package, which includes payments worth £900 for millions of people on benefits and additional support for disabled people and pensioners, whilst every household will continue to save money thanks to our Energy Price Guarantee.
"We also know that bearing down on inflation is one of the best ways to help families cope with rising bills, which is why the Prime Minister has made halving inflation this year one of his top priorities."
Read more about Greenwich Conservative councillors' Cost Of Living Payment proposal in our Alternative Budget 2023.