Whilst the national political parties continue to bicker over Universal Credit, our local Councillors whom continue to be bound by their party need to look at local ways in which they can help to alleviate the problems caused by it.
Liverpool city council claimed to have spent £175,000 from its local welfare provision scheme on Universal Credit claimants in 2017, while Shropshire council said it had set aside £20,000 to help food banks to “diversify the type of help they are able to give specifically to suit universal credit”. Many councils around the country have had to set aside extra resources to deal with an increased demand for welfare support as a result of the Universal Credit roll out.
Many of the problems are caused by delays in payments to claimants, which we believe could be alleviated by the Council paying rent and collecting the money later when claimants have received their benefits. The negative effects of poverty and homelessness also affects our mental health services as people feel the burden of debt and rent arrears. The Council, landlords and taxpayers are paying for the negative effects already, so why not do something about it?
Perhaps the next time the Council props up St. George’s Theatre with tax payers money, or congratulates themselves for losing £119,000 on an ice-rink or decides they can find hundreds of thousands of pounds for other niche projects, perhaps they should think about how that money would be better spent for the town. Whether you are wealthy or not, no local residents wishes to see the decline of our Borough and we believe that helping people back onto their feet is a good place to start.
Whether our candidates are elected or not in the Great Yarmouth local elections next year, we pledge to put pressure on all the Parties to do better locally for residents.
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