Sheffield Liberal Democrats have condemned the Labour party for a ‘toothless and ineffective’ response to the Cost of Living crisis, after a motion Labour brought was revealed to be requesting money that had already been spent.
The motion highlighted the concerning rise in inflation, especially in food prices, and recognised that many people in Sheffield will be worried about their bills in the run up to winter.
However, it was revealed at a meeting of the Council today that most of the money Labour had suggested to spend on direct grants had already been spent. The remaining £200k was already ringfenced for spend on Cost of Living funding, meaning that Labour’s request was completely redundant!
In contrast, a motion brought to Council in July by the Liberal Democrats allocated £200k to the Citizens Advice Bureau, to be spent helping people in Sheffield access all the benefits they are entitled to, and £400k to the Council’s Local Area Committees to support local people through the Cost of Living crisis. This money would not otherwise have been spent on Cost of Living measures.
Labour were also condemned for opposing the expansion of free school meals to all primary school students, a measure which would help over 4,000 children living in poverty in Sheffield, and for approving upcoming bus cuts which are likely to increase poverty in Sheffield.
Cllr Shaffaq Mohammed, Leader of Sheffield Liberal Democrats, said:-
“Everyone in Sheffield knows that Labour is in chaos. We’re now seeing that this chaos is getting in the way of delivering for Sheffield people, many of whom are really suffering from the cost of living crisis.
The contrast between Labour and the Liberal Democrats is obvious: empty promises from Labour, money for the most vulnerable from the Liberal Democrats.
Labour refused to back free school meals for primary school children again today. They talk a big game on the Cost of Living crisis, but time and time again, both locally and nationally, they refuse to put money towards tackling it. Their lack of action is disgraceful, and their credibility on the Cost of Living crisis is non-existent.”