Councillor issues warning on impact of inflation and tax hikes
- Credit: Ken Mears/Havering Council
An Upminster ward councillor has warned that the combination of inflation and tax hikes could see locals struggling with their bills in the coming months.
As part of this newspaper's There With You This Winter campaign, which is providing advice on where people can seek support during the difficult winter months, we spoke to Havering councillor Ron Ower.
“A lot of people I don’t think are still aware what is going to hit them,” said Cllr Ower, a member of the Upminster and Cranham Residents Group.
“I regularly look at grocery prices and I have seen prices have increased higher than five per cent and sadly we all saw the tremendous price hikes at the garage forecourts where petrol prices went through the roof.”
He said he had also seen significant energy bills rises, which could be exacerbated when new higher price caps come into place in April.
Cllr Ower also noted national insurance is set to increase from 12 per cent to 13.25 per cent on earnings in the same month.
“Whilst there are many areas in Havering that are quite affluent, there’s many people who are not so, especially senior citizens,” he said.
“I’m concerned that some people who are senior citizens who have got part-time jobs to get themselves a little bit extra income are going to be hit by national insurance increase,” he added.
- 1 Apology issued after NHS nurse 'was failed by short-staffed Queen's Hospital maternity ward'
- 2 Former Upminster farmer hopes to buy back land, but is wary of price going 'up and up and up'
- 3 13 flats and three commercial units in new four-storey block approved for Romford town centre
- 4 The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee flypast: Where, and when, the planes will fly over north and east London
- 5 Another dispersal order in Elm Park amid youth ASB crackdown
- 6 Property spotlight: Property prices rocket around Premier League team's training ground
- 7 Supermarket giant Aldi confirms construction of new Romford store is ‘progressing well’
- 8 VOTE: Which east London fish and chip shop is your favourite?
- 9 Hornchurch man given three-year football banning order for Nazi salutes
- 10 'Crucial' consultation begins on proposed changes to Lower Thames Crossing project
Cllr Ower told the Recorder he believes it is a bad time to raise taxes when the public is already under strain from the cost-of-living, and suggested some ideas for tackling the mounting crisis.
He urged the government to cancel VAT on energy bills and to introduce guidelines for a lower cap on prices.
He also suggested the government “talk to energy companies to see how it can help”.
Locally, he said there could be a role for council action, for instance through helping people improve their home insulation.
“It’s an area that I am going to be looking into, to ascertain if there are people that will need assistance,” he added.
He suggested many of these issues would be playing on the minds of voters come the local elections in May this year.