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PlaceShapers has joined organisations across the country calling on Rishi Sunak to ensure the Spring Budget protects those already struggling in the cost-of-living crisis.

Rishi SunakPlaceShapers chair Matthew Walker has signed  an open letter to the Prime Minister – and residents and staff are now adding signatures to show the strength of public feeling. 

The letter, which will be handed in to Downing Street, is being co-ordinated by Save the Children. It calls for

Heating homes - provide effective, ongoing support for those struggling to pay energy bills during this crisis, and boost insulation so bills keep coming down.

School meals - make sure children aren’t going hungry by expanding free school meals to all children, prioritising families receiving Universal Credit or equivalent benefits.

Security - unfreezing housing benefit so it keeps pace with inflation and local housing costs.

A lifeline - when it becomes impossible to pay bills and feed families, ensure a social security system which treats people with dignity and helps them get back on their feet.

Matthew Walker said: “People on the lowest incomes are disconnecting their gas or electricity and unable to afford to cook hot meals for themselves and their children. Members are doing all they can through support including new hardship funds, money and debt advice, halting potential evictions due to the crisis and supporting local charities and social enterprises. The Government must also do more, and we call on the Prime Minister and Chancellor to commit to this in the Spring statement.”

The petition will be handed in to Downing Street ahead of the Spring Budget on 15 March. PlaceShapers was part of a campaign ahead of the Autumn 2022 budget calling on Government to protect those struggling. The 404,000 strong petition helped Government see the strength of public feeling ahead of them announcing that benefits would be increased in line with inflation.

Read stories from members on the cost of living crisis.