Eastbourne Declares a Cost of Living Crisis

23 May 2022

Eastbourne’s Foodbank has become the busiest in the country, according to the Trussell Trust. The Foodbank does incredible work but, in this day and age, it shouldn't need to exist in our town.

It was clear for most of the last year that the cost of living was spiralling out of control, with energy bills skyrocketing and so many Eastbourne people struggling to make ends meet.

Josh Babarinde, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson said, “For local pensioners like Jeanne, who I met with earlier in the year to hear her concerns about rising bills, this is made worse by the pension triple lock being broken by the government – she’s been left even more out-of-pocket.”

That’s why Josh led the charge to officially declare a ‘Cost of Living Emergency’ in Eastbourne to force the Government and Eastbourne’s MP to wake up and act immediately.

Josh achieved this through a formal motion at Eastbourne Borough Council. Together with an official 'Cost of Living Emergency' declaration.  The motion called for the Government to:

  • Immediately impose a ‘Windfall Tax’ on the super profits of oil and gas companies and use this to take an average of £600 off Eastbournians’ energy bills this year
  • Immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20% to 17.5% for one year, saving the average Eastbourne household a further £600 this year
  • Immediately re-introduce the pensions triple lock to support Eastbourne’s pensioners

Thanks to the support of Eastbourne Liberal Democrat councillors, a ‘Cost of Living Emergency’ was officially declared, with the inspiring Howard Wardle (CEO at Eastbourne Foodbank) supporting this significant measure. 

In so doing, we have made history as the first town in the UK to make such a declaration, making regional and national news.

Thanks to BBC NewsITV NewsThe MirrorThe ExpressThe IndependentTimes RadioGB News (and of course the Eastbourne Herald!) for amplifying Josh’s campaign and helping to make Eastbourne’s voice impossible to ignore. Local Conservatives refused to support this vital campaign.

Many councils across the country have followed Josh’s Cost of Living campaign to pile on the pressure by making emergency declarations of their own.

Josh added, “I’m convinced that this campaign will pressure the Government to provide more support for those struggling in this cost of living emergency. I will keep fighting for just that, as well as ensuring the Council plays its part, too.”

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