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Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

Restore these cuts to the most desperate people in Kent

February 8, 2017 12:49 PM

Tomorrow Thursday, Liberal Democrats at County Hall will propose that an effective cut of £500,000 to supply Crisis Payments to people in desperate circumstances be struck out of KCC's budget.

In the open letter copied below to Paul Carter Conservative Leader of KCC, Trudy Dean Lib Dem Group Leader calls for his support for the move. " If we cannot help people through the most needy times of their lives, then what is Kent County Council for?

"Dear Paul,

Tomorrow at the Budget Debate, the Liberal Democrat Group will be moving an amendment to reinstate the proposed Crisis Payments budget cut.

We shall do so because these payments are made to the most desperate people in Kent.
A. Applicants have to demonstrate they have visited the Job Centre, receive all benefits to which they are entitled and have no other source of income.
B. The need for the payment is immediate and urgent, such as a replacement cooker to prepare hot food for a family or travel ticket to a dying parent.
C. The plan to change these payments to loans is unrealistic and likely to add to the destitution of the people involved.

The section 151 officer has indicated that he is comfortable with the amendment to pay for the cut by increasing Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) savings by the required amount.

I believe that there is cross party concern about this particular budget cut, and I urge you to find a way tomorrow to restore this particular budget to current spending levels.

Trudy"

Notes:

  1. For further information on the Kent Support and Assistance Service click here.
  2. The original budget papers proposed a reduction £840k but, as there is currently a projected underspend of c£300k, we propose a £500k increase to restore the budget to current spending levels.