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Cost of Living

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Piggy Bank

After finally agreeing that Labour’s long called for Windfall Tax was in fact a good idea, the Chancellor appeared before the Treasury Committee to dissect his cost of living announcements. Because, as always, the devil is in the detail. That’s why I was so furious to learn that anyone who owns multiple homes will take home multiple payments! The more houses they own, the more support they will receive!

And so I asked the Chancellor how many second home owners would receive an £800 discount for their energy bills. The answer? 772,000 - a £620 million pound windfall!

I asked him how many people own three homes and are therefore in line for handouts totalling £1,200. The answer? 61,000 - a £73 million pound windfall.

I then asked him how much support he would be receiving for his energy bills. He quickly jumped in to say that he is giving his rebate to charity. Which is all very philanthropic. But as I pointed out to him, isn't this being philanthropic with other people's money? I reminded him of Margaret Thatcher's famous quote that there is no such thing as public money, there is only taxpayer's money. At a time when the total tax burden has risen to the highest level since the 1940s, is it really good use of taxpayer money for somebody on the Sunday Times Rich List – or indeed for any MP or Government Minister – to receive second home support when others are choosing between heating and eating?

I then asked him about the timing of this support and what it was about the week of Sue Gray's partygate report that made him finally decide to intervene. For 5 long months he resisted Labour’s repeated call for a windfall tax, adding £53 million to Britain’s household bills for every day of your dither and delay.

You can watch my questions here!


Claiming your council tax rebate

Meanwhile, I know that many families are having a real tough time at the minute as the cost of living bites.

That’s why I’m writing to you to make sure that you receive all of the Government support that you are eligible for. I have organised 4 events across our constituency on how you can claim your £150 council tax rebate if you are eligible and have not received it already. These events will take place on Saturday 2nd July between 10:30 and 13:30 at the four libraries in our constituency - Pollards Hill Library, Mitcham Library, Colliers Wood Library and Morden Library. Please aim to arrive early in case there is a queue.

The addresses are as follows:

Pollards Hill Library: South Lodge Avenue, Mitcham, CR4 1LT

Mitcham Library: 157 London Road, Mitcham, CR4 2YR

Colliers Wood Library: 105-109 High Street, Colliers Wood, SW19 2HR

Morden Library: Merton Civic Centre, London Road, SM4 5DX

All households who live in a property in Council Tax Band A, B, C or D are eligible for a one-off £150 grant. If you pay your council tax by direct debit, you should have received this already or be set to receive it imminently. However, if you pay your council tax manually each month, which is the case for around 1 in 3 households, then you need to claim the grant manually as the council does not have your bank details. To do so, please visit: The deadline to claim is 4th July – after which the Council will instead credit your council tax account with the funds. If you would prefer this to happen then there is nothing you need to do.

I appreciate that you may have questions regarding how to claim or whether you are eligible. You may also need help accessing the form or be without internet access. That’s why I’m organising events at our libraries on Saturday 2nd July between 10:30 – 13:30. Please pop down – there will be lots of laptops, volunteers and staff to help you. You will need to bring a copy of your bank statement and a copy of your council tax bill – both are required as part of the form. There will also be council tax officers, benefit and debt advisers, and your recently elected local councillors – all available to chat and offer guidance on these or any other concerns.

If you live in a property in council tax band E, F, G or H, you may be eligible for some support after 4th July. This will be announced by the Council after this date. Please review their website or call the Merton Council tax team on 020 8274 5706. Please also be aware that this support is separate from the recently announced energy bill support scheme, whereby every household will be eligible for at least £400. Full details will be announced by the Government soon.

I hope that these events are helpful so that we can ensure that everyone eligible for the £150 council tax rebate receives it. Please do let your friends, family and neighbours know too.