With soaring energy bills, rising mortgage costs and increasing inflation, more and more hard-working families are struggling to pay for their basic needs. Whether it’s keeping the fridge stocked, or just managing to stay warm, the cost-of-living crisis is making financial insecurity a growing reality for families all over the country, and in Twickenham.
What are we doing to help?
The Liberal Democrats and I are working for you in Parliament to secure the support that families across the country need to cope with the rising cost of living.
We are calling for:
- Ministers to establish a mortgage protection fund to make sure no one loses their home this winter
- Expanding access to free school meals to all children whose parents are on Universal Credit
- The Government to scrap unfair tax handouts for banks and other multinational companies raking in huge profits, and to use the money to help struggling families with their bills instead.
- A fully implemented windfall tax on fossil fuel giants
- Scrapping of the planned lift on the bankers’ bonus cap
- An emergency Covid-style support scheme for small and medium-sized businesses
- Investment in a winter rescue plan for the NHS to recruit more doctors, dentists and paramedics
Where can I find advice and support?
- Citizens Advice Richmond: Offers specialist advice on a range of issues, and hardship grants on behalf of other local funders and food vouchers.
- Hampton Inspired Hub: Toy swaps, voucher schemes, vegetable plot, food donations and community bathroom.
- Age UK: Cost of living support page
- Independent Age: Advice, factsheets and leaflets on a range of topics from state pensions to staying warm
- Community Meals Service: A home meal service, particularly for those who are unable to cook for themselves.
- Food for Thought Heathfield: Offering surplus food from local retailers at a pop-up market stall on Heathfield Recreation Ground.
- Free school meals: Find out if your child is eligible for free school meals.
- Healthy Start vouchers: Find out if you are eligible here.
- Richmond Food Bank: Five food distribution points in and near the borough. You need a food voucher to get provisions from the Food Bank.
- The Real Junk Food Project: Turns surplus food from local retailers into meals they serve at their café. Open to anyone. Pay as you feel.
- Hampton Fund: Can help with fuel grants if you live in Hampton, Hampton Hill, Hampton Wick, Teddington, Twickenham and Whitton.
- SW LEAP: provides energy advice across Richmond, Wandsworth and Merton to anyone in fuel poverty. Visit https://swleap.org.uk/ or call 08000862706.
- Winter Fuel Payment: Find out if you are eligible here.
- National Energy Action (NEA): For advice and support for heating your home, click here or call 0800 304 7159. For steps to help you manage your energy bills and keep your home warm this winter, click here.
- Smart Energy GB: For tips on how to make small changes to improve the energy efficiency of your home, click here. To find out how to use a smart meter to save money, click here.
- The Energy Saving Trust: Visit the website for quick tips on saving energy.
- Simple Energy Advice: For advice on how to reduce your energy bills, make your home warmer, plan home improvements and make your home greener, click here.
- AgeUK: advice and support on energy bills here
- Warm Hub Finder: find places in Richmond Borough to stay warm
- No recourse to Public Funds Hardship Fund: For Richmond residents whose income has been affected by COVID-19 and have no recourse to public funds.
- Step Change Debt Charity: For expert debt advice and money guidance help, click here.
- National Debtline: For free independent debt advice, click here or call 0808 808 4000.
- Money Helper: For free money advice to help improve your finances, click here or call 0800 138 7777.
- Independent Age: financial support for older people
Benefits and disability support
- Age UK: Benefit calculator
- Local Assistance Scheme: For those residents in receipt of welfare benefits, there are crisis grants available to help with essentials.
- Richmond AID: Specialist benefits advice for people with disabilities.
- RUILS: Providing support for adults and children with disabilities.
- Pension Credit calculator: See how much pension support you’re eligible for