Eastbourne becomes first town in UK to declare 'cost of living emergency'

Eastbourne has become the first town in the UK to declare a 'cost of living emergency.'

Council leaders are due to make the emergency declaration at a meeting tonight (Wednesday 18 May)

It comes after new data from the Trussell Trust revealed the town has the busiest food bank in the country amid the rising cost of energy bills.

More food parcels were distributed per head than any other Foodbank in the UK in the 21/22 financial year.

The energy price cap rose by 54% from April 1, affecting around 22 million customers.

People paying default tariffs by direct debit will see an increase of £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 per year, while prepayment customers will see an increase of £708 from £1,309 to £2,017. The emergency motion, put forward by Eastbourne councillor and Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate Josh Babarinde OBE, also called on the Government to enact further measures to support struggling families. These include an immediate Windfall Tax on oil and gas companies to reduce bills, immediately restoring the pensions triple lock and immediately cutting VAT by 2.5% for a year to reduce prices.

Eastbourne Liberal Democrat councillor and Parliamentary Candidate Josh Babarinde OBE said: “This is a wake-up call for Boris Johnson.

"I cannot stand idly by while my hometown of Eastbourne is among the hardest hit, which is why I have called for the Government and our Conservative MP to act right now. “The Conservative Government’s failure to tackle the rising cost of living has shamefully allowed this crisis to become an emergency. “We need taxes slashed, a Windfall Tax on oil companies to help people heat their homes, and the triple-lock pension protected. Instead, we are seeing taxes go up and oil companies allowed to make billions off the backs of families and pensioners. “Eastbourne needs help and I am determined to do all I can to secure that. It is time Boris Johnson stopped sleepwalking through this cost of living emergency.”