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£300k fund for struggling families in Liverpool

MAKING ENDS MEET: Many Liverpudlian families face hardship (image credit: Susan Sidebottom Photography)

LIVERPOOL’S MAYOR JOE Anderson has ringfenced £300,000, to be used by April 2018, to assist locals in need of financial support and help towards everyday costs such as food and nappies.

Each of the 30 wards in the city will be allocated £10,000 - councillors will recommend selected community and local voluntary organisations who will make decisions on who is in most need, in order to reach families.

The money forms part of the Mayoral Hardship Fund, a pot worth £2 million, which will be allocated to varying social projects over the next three years.

Hardship payments will not affect recipients’ entitlement to any Discretionary Housing Payments they may be eligible for, nor will they prevent people from applying to the Liverpool Citizen Support Scheme. These two currently award over £5 million in emergency payments and rent top-ups each year in Liverpool.

Liverpool City Council conducted a Cumulative Impact Assessment this year, which identified more than 20 changes to working-age benefits since 2010. They also found that roughly 25% of residents had been negatively affected, with the long-term sick and disabled, children and women disproportionately hit.

Mayor Anderson said:

“The Government’s welfare reforms have hit the most vulnerable in our city hard and it is absolutely perverse that we as one part of the public sector are having to pick up the pieces caused by cuts in another part of the public sector when we have already faced a 64 percent reduction in our budget.

“But we cannot and will not just sit by and watch as some of our most vulnerable families are left struggling and worrying how they will pay for essentials such as food and clothing.

“Contrary to the Government’s narrative, many households that are being hit by the welfare benefits changes, tax credit cuts and the bedroom tax have someone in work. All it is doing is dragging more children into poverty and affecting their life chances.”

For more information on the fund and when it will launch, call Liverpool City Council on 0800 0283697 or 0151 233 3009.

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