Update from Eastbourne Borough Council Leader David Tutt on 28-Mar-22

One of the biggest concerns for most people at present is the alarming rise in the cost of living. The current rate of inflation is 6.2% way above the Bank of England target of 2% and this is likely to go even higher when the energy cap is lifted by 54% from the 1st April, with another large increase predicted in October. This is coupled with the increase of 1.25% in National Insurance rates from 6th April and spiralling prices at the fuel pumps means that we are likely to suffer the greatest drop in the standard of living since the 1950s. 

Last week, the Chancellor announced a reduction of 5p in fuel duty in order to ease the burden, but in reality he could have done much more. Taxation on fuel comes in two forms, firstly there is the duty which accounts for approximately a third of the cost. This is what has been reduced by 5p per litre, but then the total cost including this is taxed again in the form of VAT, so even with this cut, Government will see their income from petrol and diesel increase. In addition to this, the documents on the Chancellor’s spring statement reveal a huge windfall for the government of £7.6 billion which is a result of his freezing the tax threshold. This is the lower limit of earnings at which tax needs to start being paid and this would normally be increased along with inflation. Surely a more practical way that he could have helped the hard-pressed consumer would have been to reduce the level of VAT, thus easing the burden on most of our spending.

When money is tight charities find it much harder to obtain donations. One such charity which is finding the going tough at present is Eastbourne Foodbank. They are experiencing a massive stock shortage, as demand has increased by 78% compared to last year. They would really appreciate your help. It is easy to donate as most supermarkets have collection points for donations and just one donated item of tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tinned rice pudding or deodorant will make a massive difference. Please help them if you can afford to do so – Thank you.

Stay safe!

David Tutt

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