EASTBOURNE MP CAROLINE ANSELL: Spring Statement aims to help with cost of living

I welcome the Chancellor’s Spring Statement and the help he announced to support families across Eastbourne and Willingdon with the cost of living.

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Important announcements include equalising income and National Insurance thresholds at £12,570. It was a move that will help 30 million households in the country with an extra £330 a year.

The cost of fuel is also something I know many local people have been concerned about and written to me on. The 5p cut in fuel duty for 12 months is good news then.

The £1billion Household Support Fund that councils can call upon to help the most vulnerable is targeted support. Local authorities know their areas and know how best to help.

These measures build on the £9.1 billion of support announced to tackle rising energy bills.

No Chancellor can neutralise the inflationary pressures caused by war, the pandemic and global supply costs. There will be calls for deeper public spending and more support - as indeed I have made before, for pensioners just above the credit threshold or those on UC, but the measures in the statement will make a difference.

That the cost of servicing our national debt post pandemic is will be almost twice the defence budget and close to the £83.3billion due to be spent on education demonstrates the scale of the Chancellor’s challenge.

I met with a group of Eastbourne mums last week following their show of unity with Ukraine outside the Town Hall.

I updated them on the raft of measures the Government is undertaking to help Ukraine as they fight the Russian invasion including the new sponsorship scheme for people to host Ukrainian refugees in their home with a £350 a month thank you available.

Eastbourne Borough Council will be leading on this community scheme backed by government funds. More to follow on that.

Thank you again to everyone who has been helping to raise money. Last Saturday, our local Rotarians were in the town centre and I was pleased to join them. An excellent £2,603.52 was collected and will already have been transferred to their Polish counterparts to help fund the wonderful support they are giving to those who have fled from Ukraine, including medical support.

And on things medical, I am writing my column from the fracture clinic at the DGH.

I took a tumble last week and managed to break fingers; my wedding ring had to be cut off too but luckily no permanent damage.

A huge thank you to those who came over to offer their help on scene and the brilliant team at A&E who did a great job patching me up. I am so grateful to our NHS and to its host of heroes who work so hard to look after us. Please do keep sending me your Eastbourne nominations for the parliamentary NHS awards which close on April 6.

Keep in touch and take good care.