Swift action needed ‘to avoid families being forced to seek food parcels from York council’

Cllr Carol Runciman. Photograph: York Liberal Democrats

Councillors are calling on the government to extend a national scheme that saves £140 on energy bills to households struggling due to coronavirus, helping an estimated 7,697 households across City of York Council.

The Liberal Democrats Group has warned that swift action must be taken to avoid families being forced to seek food parcels from the council.

The party’s plans would see all households that fall into the government definition of fuel poverty access the Warm Homes Discount. The move would see some 2.5 million households across the UK – many of whom are not currently eligible for the scheme – benefit from £140 credit on their energy bills.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive member for Health and Adult Social Care said:

“City of York Council are doing all that we can to support residents through the Covid-19 crisis and we have established community hubs all around the city to make sure everyone has the food and support they need. However, it is essential that the Government acts to ensure no one is pushed into poverty when it is easily avoidable through a shift in national policy.

“The government already offers a Warm Home Discount on fuel to the poorest pensioners. Extending this to all those who meet the current definition for fuel poverty would make an enormous difference to thousands, including many families with children.”