THOUSANDS of Tower Hamlets families most impacted by the cost-of-living crisis will receive one-off grants of £100 from the council, after a new relief package was agreed by the borough’s Mayor.
Under the package approved by the Mayor at last night’s cabinet meeting (July, 11), households who are eligible for free school meals will receive a £100 per child payment, while a £100 per child payment will also be made available to other households deemed at risk of poverty.
A total of 17,500 grant payments of £100 are set to be paid under the plan, costing the council £1.75m, with some households will be eligible for multiple grant payments.
The package agreed at cabinet also includes help for more than 7,000 residents on pension credit and help for more than 2,000 households with younger children not in primary school who receive Healthy Start Vouchers.
9,410 grant payments of £100 will be made to these groups, which will be funded through the council’s allocation of the Household Support Fund, bringing the total value of the relief package to £2.7m.
Eligible households will be contacted by the council or through their children’s school.
The new relief package is the latest offering from the council to help residents deal with spiralling living costs, with the council already offering a council tax reduction scheme, the Resident Support Scheme, universal free school meals for children up to 11, school uniform grants, holiday activities for children in low-income families, support of local food pantries and funding of local advice services and a tackling poverty outreach team.
Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:
“The cost-of-living crisis is already having a terrible effect on many people in Tower Hamlets, and the situation is going to get worse.
“While this should be a matter for government to solve, we cannot wait any longer. People should know they have a Mayor and a council on their side and that is why we are putting in extra funding for those who are most impacted.
“This package is on top of other help the council already offers for those struggling financially. They include reductions in council tax, our Resident Support Scheme, free primary school meals, school uniform grants and hundreds of free activities and food for young people as part of our Summer Events programme.
“We will continue find new ways to support our residents through this crisis.”
Cllr Saied Ahmed, Cabinet Member for Resources and the Cost of Living, said:
“People on lower incomes and families are being hit the hardest by the cost-of-living crisis and while it’s been recognised by the government with some support offered, it isn’t enough.
“Doing nothing is simply not an option, so we’re offering this additional support which will help to reduce the impact of the crisis and the increasing pressure being put on stretched household finances.
“We know there is more that needs to be done and we will continue to do all we can to support our residents through this challenging time.”