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Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

Success: Lib Dem budget amendments adopted to help disabled and poorest children

February 16, 2022 10:30 AM
By Antony Hook

Liberal Democrats tabled seven amendments to Kent's budget last week.

Two of the amendments passed, with the ruling Conservatives caving in to Liberal Democrats arguments.

The successful amendments will:

1. Save the disabled companion pass so that disabled people can use buses with the help of someone to travel with them, as many disabled people need.

2. Prevent a planned Tory rise of £30 (25%) in the cost of the Kent travel pass for under-16s who receive free school meals. The pass will remain at £120 rather than go up to £150 as the Tories budgeted for.

Leader of the Kent Lib Dems Antony Hook said,

"Our group put forward arguments that made the Conservatives realise that the public would not accept their attacks on ordinary people in Kent.

"The disabled deserve our support and saving the companion pass was essential.

"Children who receive free school meals are from the poorest families, usually on benefits like Universal Credit. Helping those children get to school is really important. The cost of living ciris is affecting us all and it is hitting these families hardest. It would have been very wrong for Kent County Council to raid £30 off families on FSM."

If Liberal Democrats gain power at the next county council election in 2025 we will produce a budget that won't need amendments like this because we will put protecting our most vulnerable first.

All seven proposed Lib Dem amendments were fully costed and signed off by council officers as financially sound. The Lib Dem amendments proposed using £4million+ in share dividends that KCC received from company shares it owns. These funds are currently unallocated despite services being cut and council tax going up.