Councils want a collaborative approach between national and local government to address the impact of the rising cost of living, with the right powers and resources to deliver positive outcomes.
The rising costs of fuel, food and other essentials are combining with existing disadvantage and vulnerability within our communities to put many households at greater risk of both immediate hardship and reduced opportunity and wellbeing.
Councils and local partners have delivered remarkable services and support and will continue to do what they can to protect people against higher costs, targeting help at those facing the most complex challenges.
But they can’t tackle the problem alone. We need to strengthen and maintain a collaborative approach between national and local government and key partners in the private, public and voluntary sectors.
We need a long-term solution to address cost of living pressures, reducing the need for emergency support.
We are calling for:
- a fair, accessible and sufficient mainstream benefits system providing financial stability for low income households, protecting those who are unable to work, reducing health inequalities and linking effectively with key local partners to improve employment outcomes and socio-economic wellbeing
- councils and local partners to have adequate, sustainable resources to provide targeted and effective crisis support alongside services which increase opportunity and lift people out of poverty for good, with a strengthened role for councils in improving financial inclusion and resilience
- councils to be given the freedom and flexibility to lead local approaches which build strong local economies in the longer term, including increasing the supply of affordable housing, integrating skills and employment provision, and prioritising vulnerable households to benefit from energy saving initiatives.
It is vital that these measures are accompanied by a longer-term solution to addressing wider cost of living pressures, which may be with us for some time to come, reducing the need for further emergency support.
There isn’t one approach which will tackle the issues we are facing. We need a collective response that protects and supports our most vulnerable residents, and ensures that the challenges we all face now don’t harm prospects, resilience and wellbeing in the longer term.
Councils can play a key role in this but they need support from Government and partners to do this.
Cost of living support hub
Councils and local partners across the country are delivering remarkable services and support for residents impacted by the rising cost of living. Our cost of living hub contains case studies, resources and data to share best practice in this area, covering topics including food insecurity, fuel poverty, health, wellbeing and employment.