The Dundee City Council leader has set out his administration’s financial plans for 2022.
John Alexander announced his intention to bring forward multi-million pound support for citizens facing the cost-of-living crisis.
Speaking to Dundee Live, he reiterated council plans – passed in February – that confirmed £1.6 million of additional funding was earmarked to address social inequalities – including poverty, mental health, tackling drug use and educational attainment.
And he reminded locals of a further £2.3 million boost coming from the Scottish Government to support families affected by the cost of living and covid-19 impact, as well as business support.
Councilor Alexander detailed where some of the money is heading.
He said that nearly £1 million will be used to alleviate fuel poverty with nearly £500,000 for continued support to food poverty projects and local organisations.
£250,000 has been set aside to support the Scottish Welfare Fund while £100,000 will support the delivery of a pilot focussed on tackling child poverty.
£50,000 will help boost the work of the Fairness Leadership Panel and the remaining funds will be deployed flexibly to deal with emerging demands.
Mr Alexander said: “Dundonians are facing a financial cliff edge like no other. Right now, they need leadership not loans. We will provide the leadership, even if others don’t.
“At a local level, we are looking to rapidly increase support, to the tune of millions of pounds. It is essential that we work across the city to support people in every community. We cannot underestimate the seriousness of the situation facing thousands of people in Dundee.”
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The Council Leader also took the opportunity to slam the UK Government, adding: “The reality is none of the members of the Cabinet are going to have to think twice about putting the heating on.
“Sunak’s pathetic offer of a £200 loan illustrates the lack of understanding of the severe impact of that this crisis will have on people in Dundee and across the UK perfectly. It’s shameful.”
Dundee City Council, Fairness Spokesperson, Councilor Lynne Short added: “While we are determined to help people and seek to mitigate the crisis facing our citizens, this can only go so far when costs outside our remit are rising to unprecedented levels.
“Without all the mitigations and interventions, our city and citizens would find ourselves in a much more difficult situation. The architects of austerity politics in the Westminster government must make the changes, that we cannot, and support people and not profits.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.