Stockport Borough to be hit by £48,461,915 National Insurance bombshell as cost-of-living crisis bites
- Typical family in Stockport set to pay an extra £147.20 in national insurance contributions (NICs) this year as cost-of-living crunch hits.
- Local businesses are also set to feel the squeeze with £29,077,149 tax hit.
- Lib Dems demand emergency VAT tax cut to put money back in the pockets of struggling families.
Following the recent announcement that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have abandoned the ‘PoliceWorks’ part of their failed iOps computer system, Stockport Liberal Democrats have called on Andy Burnham to commission and publish a full report into the true cost and impact of this long drawn out experience.
Cllr Tom Morrison, Lib Dem representative on the GM Police, Fire and Crime Panel, said: “We knew for several years that the new computer system was failing. At last the new Chief Constable has done what should have happened under his predecessor and abandoned this mission-critical system that was not fit for purpose. As well as wasting around £70m of public money, Greater Manchester has had several years where residents have been unable to rely on their local police to correctly record and investigate crime, leading to a hidden explosion of criminality.
“I am calling on Andy Burnham and Bev Hughes, as the politicians responsible to our residents for holding the police to account, to commission and publish a report into the true cost and impact of this sorry episode. How much has actually been spent in buying and trying to make this system work? How much has been recovered from the supplier? How much is the replacement system costing? And what has been the additional cost of crime and the personal impact on residents in Stockport and elsewhere across Greater Manchester because our police force was unable to operate effectively during this time?”
Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Lib Dems at Stockport Town Hall, added: “This has been a complete waste of public money on Andy Burnham’s watch. He says it was procured before he became mayor but, by his own account, he failed to ensure the former Chief Constable and his team were effective in its implementation. The problems with iOps were being reported in our local press, and being vehemently denied by the former Chief Constable, almost from day one back in 2019.
“This is an utter shambles and our residents deserve to know exactly what this has cost both in terms of public money and in terms of unreported and additional crimes committed across the region.”
Residents across Cheadle & Cheadle Hulme are set to face another spike in the cost of living as energy bills and inflation continue to rise. National Insurance increases will make life even harder for working families, pensioners and young people.
Earlier this year, the energy giant BP announced profits of £9.5bn whilst the average UK household is expected to see its electricity and gas bills rise by £693 this April. That’s an eye-watering 54% increase.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4s Today programme, the Liberal Democrat leader, Ed Davey, said: “It simply cannot be right these energy companies are making super profits while people are too scared to turn their radiators on and terrified there will be a cold snap.” The Government has ignored Ed Davey’s calls for a windfall tax on super profits to support families and pensioners.
You may be entitled to help with the cost of living:
- £150 council tax rebate in April
Having adjusted the energy price cap, the government says all of those in England living in properties in council tax bands A to D will receive a £150 rebate in April. This will not need to be repaid.
- £200 energy credit loan in October
All domestic electricity customers will receive a £200 credit on their energy bill in October 2022. The government will initially meet the cost of these payments, but you’ll have to pay them back.
- You may also be entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment or help through the Warm Homes Discount Scheme. Visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-help-paying-your-bills/grants-and-benefits-to-help-you-pay-your-energy-bills/
Residents across Cheadle Hulme are set to face another spike in the cost of living as energy bills and inflation continue to rise. Additionally, National Insurance and Council Tax increases will make life even harder for working families.
Earlier this year, the energy giant BP announced profits of $12.8bn while the average UK household is expected to see its electricity and gas bills rise by £693 this April. That’s a shameful rise of 54%.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the Liberal Democrat leader, Ed Davey, said: “It simply cannot be right these energy companies are making super profits while people are too scared to turn their radiators on and terrified there will be a cold snap.” The Conservative government has ignored Ed Davey’s calls for a summit of energy bosses and a windfall tax.
You may be entitled to help with the cost of living:
Tory MPs vote against plans to “name and shame” water companies killing animals with sewage
New “name and shame” law would have led to annual figures on animals killed by sewage dumps
Liberal Democrat proposal to take new action against water companies blocked by Conservative MPs
Otters across England and Wales found to have been poisoned in rivers
Last week, Conservative MPs voted against a new law which would have forced water companies to report on the number of animals killed by sewage dumps. 283 Conservative MPs voted against the plans, versus 179 opposition MPs including Liberal Democrats who voted for.
The vote follows toxic substances known as “forever chemicals”, being detected in otters across England and Wales.
The Liberal Democrats tabled an amendment to the new Animal Sentients Bill which would have led to:
Water companies forced to produce reports on the number of animals killed by toxic and sewage waste dumped in rivers.
The Government being required to publish an annual report into the number of animals killed by poor water quality in rivers
- The naming and shaming of water companies found to dump sewage in rivers which leads to animals being killed
The Liberal Democrats have demanded an end to sewage dumping in rivers to prevent wildlife being killed and the environment being irreparably damaged.
Cllr Tom Morrison Parliamentary Candidate for Cheadle commented on the vote:
“Greater Manchester Conservative MPs have again refused to take action against water companies.
“People around here are furious at how badly United Utilities treats our local environment. It is outrageous to think wildlife in our local rivers is being poisoned by disgusting raw sewage.
“It is time these water companies stopped polluting our rivers and pay for the mess they have made.”
Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs spokesperson Tim Farron MP said:
“Conservative MPs should hang their heads in shame. Yet again they have let water companies off the hook whilst our precious rivers are pumped full of raw sewage.
“Enough is enough, we need to name and shame water companies which are being found to destroy precious wildlife habitat. It is scandalous that animals are swimming in filth and seeing their habitats become sewage traps.
“This is a national scandal. Time and time again Conservative MPs refuse to take tough action on water companies. When will they finally listen to the public and do the right thing before our rivers are damaged beyond repair?”
Stockport Liberal Democrats have demanded an emergency cut to VAT to protect local families from soaring bills and the Conservatives' worsening cost of living crisis.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for the standard rate of VAT to be reduced from 20% to 17.5% for one year, a move that would save households in Stockport an average of around £600 each. This would mean putting around £54.36m back in the pockets of 90,600 families in Stockport.
The plans were set out by Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey at the party’s Spring Conference this weekend and have been backed by Lisa Smart and Tom Morrison.
It comes amid warnings that the war in Ukraine will worsen the cost of living pressures facing households, with energy, food and fuel bills all expected to rise. Inflation is also forecast to reach 8% in April, its highest level in decades.
The Lib Dem plans would support the economy by boosting spending at local high streets. The proposals would also be expected to keep inflation down by making the prices of everyday items lower than they would have been.
This week Cllr Grace Baynham, Cllr Tom Morrison and Dr Pete West sent a letter to Transport For Greater Manchester, Network Rail and Northern Rail calling for step free access at Woodsmoor station in the Stepping Hill ward.
"Woodsmoor Train Station serves the Borough’s only major NHS Hospital. Step free access will help local residents, hospital patients and staff access the already well used train station. Step free access at this station is something that many interested parties, including the Hospital, the Station Friends Group, residents, the local Liberal Democrat Councillors have been calling for, for many years."
Making the station more accessible for all not only aids those with disabilities in seeking and receiving treatment at Stepping Hill Hospital, but local residents who have to deal with the knock on effects of additional traffic and parking in their residential areas.
"The A6/Buxton Road is one of the most well used roads in Greater Manchester, it is frequently congested and the air pollution is often high. Encouraging more people to use the train and having fewer people waiting at the bus stops on a polluted road would have environmental and health benefits for the area
Woodsmoor Station has a very active Friends Group who have made many improvements to the station over the years. I am aware they support the idea of step free access and would like to be involved in taking this forward.
The Station itself has suffered from under investment in its infrastructure over the years and step free access would be a move in the right direction.
In summary, step free access would bring benefits to the whole of the community in Woodsmoor. It would also make the hospital and schools more accessible. Most importantly, it would open up the possibility of train travel to people who have previously been unable to access it due to reduced mobility."
The team has also called for similar provisions to be made at Davenport station.
You can read the letter from the Lib Dem team in full here.
Tom Morrison called on Stockport Council to end its contracts and cut all ties with Russian state-owned energy firm Gazprom in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
The council currently holds a contract with the firm to provide gas, but the Liberal Democrats do not wish to see local taxpayer's money going to the Russian state and inadvertently funding its illegal war of aggression. In the last week several other councils and companies have announced the cancellation of their own contracts with Gazprom.
“What we have seen with this crisis is not just councils, but the NHS and other public sector bodies, are in these contracts with companies that are related to unsavoury foreign states,” said Councillor Morrison.
“I have requested the council review all the business contracts and investment relationships to make sure we are not related to any country that does not believe in our democratic way of life or has an appalling human rights record. We cannot be funding Putin or the Chinese state, I think this gives us an opportunity to do that. Councils, councillors, and MPs have taken our eye off the ball on this. It is awful that it has this invasion of Ukraine for everyone to realise we cannot do this. We cannot allow ourselves to be in this position in 10 years’ time."
"It is time we had a fit and proper system for determining whether a company or firm was acceptable to be receiving public contracts, or whether we were giving money to those with wildly different values to our own and propagating suffering across the world." he ended.
Lib Dems across Stockport borough are choosing to mark International Women’s Day on 8th March, and have pledged to ‘break the bias’.
Cllr Wendy Meikle, Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems at Stockport Town Hall, said: “As Liberal Democrats we confirm our support for International Women’s Day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
“This year’s theme, to ‘break the bias’, aims to address both deliberate and unconscious bias that make it difficult for women to move ahead and calls for action to level the playing field across society.”
At Thursday evening's council budget session, Stockport Lib Dems achieved a huge win for struggling families during the cost of living crisis. The Labour administration and other parties backed the Lib Dem amendment to use financial reserves to provide a rebate for Labour's proposed council tax increase for households in bands A-D.