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More Are Worried About Fellow Guildfordians Facing the Cost of Living Crisis Than for Themselves

Published on: 15 Aug, 2022
Updated on: 15 Aug, 2022

By Martin Giles

Most residents in Guildford are “extremely concerned” about the cost of living crisis for others if not themselves according to a random straw poll conducted in the town centre by The Dragon on Saturday (August 13) in the town centre.

Asked, “How concerned are you about the cost of living crisis personally and for others?” only seven of the 58 questioned said they were extremely concerned for themselves while 34 had that level of concern for others.

The level of personal concern was more evenly spread across the range and an observation of the pollsters was that younger respondents were more likely to have higher levels of personal concern.

Zoe Franklin

The Liberal Democrat’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Guildford, Zöe Franklin, said last week: “Hard-working families across Guildford, Cranleigh and our villages are already struggling to make ends meet and are deeply concerned about how they will cope with the predicted rise in energy bills.”

“This Conservative government is stalling in the face of a national emergency and, yet again, is simply not doing enough to put money back in the pockets of hard-working people.”

“Countless families and pensioners across Guildford constituency are already struggling, and they cannot wait for a new Conservative leader to act.”

“This is an emergency, and the government must step in now to help families and pensioners across Guildford and Cranleigh by cancelling the planned rise in energy bills this October.”

The Lib Dems who have the Guildford seat in their sights, normally safely Conservative, for the next general election. They want the government to cancel October’s expected energy price rise which they calculate would to save families in Guildford a total of over £128 million.

They say the estimated £36 billion cost should be met by expanding the windfall tax on oil and gas company profits and using the government’s higher-than-expected VAT revenues as a result of soaring inflation.

Angela Richardson MP

But Guildford’s Conservative MP, Angela Richardson, while acknowledging the level of concern, criticised the proposal because it would not be targeted at those most in need.

She said: “I know that many people in Guildford are finding the cost of living and energy extremely difficult. Some have written to me with their experiences and I would like to thank them for doing that; it allows me to ensure that ministers are aware of what people are going through.

“Back in May, Rishi Sunak announced a targeted package of support due to the rising costs of living. This included a £400 support payment for energy bills; £650 to those on benefits; £300 to pensioners; £150 to those with disability-related costs and a £500m extension of the Household Support Fund administered by councils. He has promised that support will continue if he becomes Prime Minister.

“What the Lib Dems suggest is a solution that benefits both the rich and poor, whereas Conservative plans provide help to those that need it the most with around three-quarters of total support going to vulnerable households.

“Treasury figures show that a household with combined gross income of £26,000 and two children can expect to receive additional support of £3,200 this year, including £850 from May’s measures, £350 from February’s support package and £2,000 from the Universal Credit taper reduction.

“This government is doing more than any other to help people with the costs of energy and living in these difficult times.”


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Responses to More Are Worried About Fellow Guildfordians Facing the Cost of Living Crisis Than for Themselves

  1. Brian Creese Reply

    August 16, 2022 at 5:09 pm

    As I am sure all the Dragon’s well-informed readers know, Labour announced on Monday that it would freeze gas and electricity prices immediately, keeping the energy price cap at its current level of £1,971 until April – a move which will save the typical household £1,000.

    The party has also confirmed that it will scrap energy premiums that customers using prepayments meters face, bringing the price cap for prepayment and standard credit customers in line with those paying by direct debit.

    This would be paid for by introducing changes to the government’s windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies, including bringing forward the start date of the levy from May 26 to January 9, by scrapping the investment allowances included in the government’s bill, through which energy companies receive 91p in tax savings for every £1 invested in the North Sea, and by repurposing the £14 billion of planned spend from the government’s energy rebate scheme.

    In addition, Labour estimates that keeping energy bills down would reduce inflation, resulting in a reduction in government debt interest payments of £7 billion.

    Brian Creese is the chair of Guildford Labour

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