₤300k allocated for new Hardship Fund
A total of ₤300,000 is to be made available across
Liverpool over the next year for community organisations to help people that are
struggling to make ends meet.
The 'Mayoral Hardship Fund;' which totals ₤2 million over the next 3 years; has
been established by Mayor Joe Anderson in response to growing pressures on low
A Cumulative Impact Assessment by Liverpool City Council earlier this year
showed more than 20 changes to working age benefits since 2010 have affected
around 55,000 households; 1 in 4; with the long term sick and disabled,
children and women disproportionately hit.
Around 10,500 working households get help with their Council Tax due to low
income; and they are also helped by the Council's decision to use its own money
to shelter low income households from the full effects of Government funding
cuts to Council Tax Support.
The funding, which is new money set aside in the Council's budget, is in
addition to Discretionary Housing Payments and the Liverpool Citizen Support
Scheme which already pay out over ₤5 million each year in rent top ups and
Each of the 30 wards in the City will be allocated ₤10,000 to be spent by April
2018, with Councillors recommending small grants to community and local
voluntary organisations that help residents with basic needs to keep their heads
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
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.
This is just 1 of a number of measures that we are introducing to help the
poorest families, such as our own not for profit energy firm; the Leccy; to help
those in fuel poverty."
Councillors will be able to make applications to provide support to community
organisations who help those facing hardship in their local areas when the
scheme launches later this summer
The remainder of the Hardship Fund will go to a separate pot administered
through the Liverpool Citizens Support Scheme for individuals whose applications
fall slightly outside the usual criteria for an award.