Barnsley residents £100 a month worse off as council launches cost of living action plan
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The report sets out BMBC’s plans to help residents during the cost of living crisis, through the provision of community shops, healthy holiday schemes for youngsters, fruit and vegetable vouchers, and a boiler repair programme.
Since September 2022, Barnsley Council has allocated £1.15m to community organisations to help people through the cost-of-living crisis.
Data from Statista shows that In October 2022, Barnsley’s inflation rate was 11.9 per cent.
However, wages increased by only 0.8 per cent between January and July 2022, leaving workers in the borough on average £101 a month poorer compared to the previous year.
The report found that 26,653 residents in Barnsley claim Universal Credit, of which 38 per cent are in work.
Barnsley was ranked the 30th most vulnerable local authority nationally, and that “many are at risk of becoming destitute”.
It adds that 19.2 per cent of households, which equates to 20,798 homes, are in fuel poverty, and 11 per cent report experiencing hunger.
Since since April 2022, Barnsley’s Citizens Advice Bureauhas seen a 134 per cent increase in unique clients compared to the same period last year, and a 176 per cent increase in problems dealt with compared to the same period last year.
Julia Burrows, director of public health at Barnsley Council, said that the impact of price rises “will be greatest for those who are already under financial pressure”, and called on employers to support their staff.
“We all need to step up to support those most affected in the borough. This includes employers looking at how they can support their staff and the government considering its response to key issues such as childcare.”
A report to the council’s cabinet warns that Barnsley already has lower average earnings and lower employment, and if this declines further, “we can expect to see an increase in the levels of stress and anxiety linked to financial pressures.
“Levels of common mental health disorders, suicide and domestic abuse are currently a concern across Barnsley.”
If you need help with the cost of living, see the council’s more money in your pocket website.