The Collins dictionary word for the year is “permacrisis”, which currently appears as a misspelling on Microsoft Word. Obviously, the world of computer programming is also adapting to the current state of affairs, writes Lucy Stephenson (Con), Leader of Rutland County Council.
I have written before about global issues that weigh heavily on the national economy and, therefore, increase the pressure on local governments. Recognizing that there is no “silver bullet” to all of this, the more important question becomes “How can we help people in difficulty?” “. Mortgage rates, rent, food, energy bills – for many of us, widespread price hikes mean these expenses are now eating up our monthly income. Households are naturally worried.
Fortunately, there are plenty of supports available at Rutland, whether it’s helping to feed your family, reduce your energy use, save money on your bills, or settle your debts. The problem can often be knowing where to go to access this help, so many organizations and support programs are there to help you.
To try to overcome this hurdle, Rutland County Council has compiled a ‘one stop shop’ for information and advice on how to tackle the rising cost of living. This information is easily accessible in one place on our website: www.rutland.gov.uk/livingcostswhile a printed brochure containing the same useful information is available free of charge from council offices and local libraries.
It is fitting that this week is also “Talk Money” week. It’s not “new” for this year, but rather an annual campaign based on research that tells us that one in three people worry about their finances. It assumes that discussing money remains something of a taboo – especially on a personal level – which can prevent people from getting help early, assessing a financial situation and putting a plan in place. plan to help manage these difficult situations.
The other key message that is integral to Let’s Talk Money Week is to start the conversation about money with kids early. Today’s children live in a lightning-fast world of sound bite information, with the touch of a screen taking them anywhere in the world. Life is immediate and transient. Debt is too easy to rack up with a quick one-click buy, have it now, pay later. The adults in children’s lives can help immensely by modeling a measured approach to money management and teaching them habits and principles that can benefit them later in life.
Clearly, money management and financial prudence are limited to the extent that they can mitigate a global cost of living crisis. We can do all the right things, but if you’re still running low, it’s important to ask for help. Many of you, I know, will list council tax as one of your biggest monthly expenses. I spend a lot of time trying to explain why Rutland is more dependent on council tax than other areas and it’s something we continue to lobby the government on – particularly as we approach January and February, when the board must establish its own balanced budget for the next year. Please contact us if you are having trouble paying council tax. We have people you can talk to and ways to help, details of which can be found in our cost of living guide.
I know many of you are struggling, so please don’t struggle alone. As a country, we are likely to feel the effects for some time to come. Asking for help now could make all the difference.