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Greenwich residents may get extra £50 council tax refund to battle cost of living

MyLondon logo MyLondon 23/06/2022 Kiro Evans

Greenwich residents could be in line for an immediate £50 tax rebate to help battle the cost of living crisis. The opposition Conservative party has put forward a motion which they say could help around 100,000 households in the borough.

Their intervention comes as the Labour -run council announced plans on the Household Support Grant and launch a taskforce to combat price rises. But its efforts have been criticised by the opposition for "lacking substance or urgency."

The Tory motion will debated at full council next week as the cost of living crisis continues to put pressure on families. The three remaining Conservative councillors have urged Labour to back the proposal.

READ MORE: Greenwich plans Cutty Sark parking fee hike and council tax rise in new budget

Local Elections Woolwich Town Hall candidates Greenwich © Kiro Evans Local Elections Woolwich Town Hall candidates Greenwich

If voted through, it would see the £50 rebate come on top of the £150 from government, and would affect band A-D households as well as all households eligible for Council Tax Support.

The Conservatives say the proposal is fully-costed and "would be funded using more than £4.9 million provided to Greenwich Council by the Conservative Government, which is currently unallocated in the Council’s accounts".

The new Conservative Greenwich leader Matt Hartley said: "Greenwich Council should be doing everything it can to help our residents through this cost of living crisis. The £50 Cost of Living Rebate that I am proposing will help more than 99,700 households in our borough, and can be paid for by more than £4.9 million of Government funding that is currently sitting untouched.

“Instead of leaving this funding sitting in the Council’s accounts for another three months, I am calling on the new Labour administration to get this money into residents’ pockets now. This addition Rebate would go some way to undoing the damage of Labour councillors’ Council Tax rises in April, which came at the worst possible time for our residents.

“The new Labour leadership has said their top priority is the cost of living crisis - so, this vote is a chance to prove it. I hope Labour councillors will do the right thing and give our £50 Cost of Living Rebate unanimous support at the Town Hall.”

Earlier this week, the council published proposals on how they will distribute £2.4 million of Household Support Grant funding from the government up until September. Under the plans targeted payments will be made that ensure that residents struggling to meet basic needs such as food, energy and bills are supported.

Council leader Anthony Okereke: “The rising cost of living is not news to many of our residents who may already be feeling the strain, but we want you to know we are here to support you. Together we will tackle the inequalities affecting the most vulnerable residents in our community.

"We believe it is a basic human right to be able to feed your family and keep them warm during the colder months, despite surging energy prices. The rising energy costs are a massive concern, that we plan to address with the support of our local partners and charity organisations.”

The two parties will face off on the cost of living issue at the first full council meeting since the May local elections next week.

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