At a meeting this evening, Cabinet approved an additional £1million be added to Merton’s Cost of Living Fund bringing the total to £3million to provide practical support, advice and information to people during the cost of living crisis.
Months of high inflation and interest rates, and persistent high costs for housing, food, and energy are continuing to impact people across our community and are being deeply felt by residents, particularly those on low incomes.
This boost will allow the Council to provide further assistance to residents, both directly and by working through a wide range of community partners, to support those struggling at this difficult time.
The extra £1million will be used to help local people with housing and food costs, support businesses to become London Living Wage employers, get more young people into the habit of saving, and support our voluntary and community sector.
Details about this plan will be shared in the coming months and will be added to the Merton Council Cost of Living Strategy and Action Plan 2023 – 2025.
The fund is already making a difference to people’s lives through initiatives including vital food support, advice on money, benefits and debt, emergency grants, employment support, free school holiday activities and meals, and ways to tackle fuel poverty.
The additional £1million will allow this existing support to continue alongside new measures.
The fund also supports community cost of living events, bringing expert cost of living advice to residents at Merton’s libraries. The next cost of living event will be held on Saturday 9 December at Mitcham Library from 10.30am to 1.30pm.
Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Billy Christie, said:
“The drastic increases we’ve seen in rent and mortgage payments, as well as stubbornly high costs for food and energy are making it harder for people to make ends meet. As each month passes, the cost of living crisis is hitting everyone harder; particularly those families on lower incomes.
“That is why Merton Council is adding £1million to the Cost of Living Fund to continue supporting our community at this incredibly difficult time with practical measures and vital advice and information, bringing some relief, particularly to those with the greatest need.
For cost of living advice and support visit: http://www.merton.gov.uk/CostOfLiving.