'Not enough support': Worried Walsall residents say more help needed after 'mini-budget'

People in Walsall were lukewarm on Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-budget, saying even more help is needed.

Sheila Main and Trevor Rowley
Sheila Main and Trevor Rowley

They say rising prices across energy, groceries and fuel have hit them hard, and many expect a tough winter ahead.

The Chancellor has opened his purse strings, with giveaways in income tax, stamp duty and national insurance. Duty hikes on alcohol have also been halted.

But those in Walsall do not feel like enough has been done to help with the ever-growing concerns around the cost of living.

Maureen Rosewarne

Maureen Rosewarne, 73, from Darlaston, is worried about her rising bills and says she is having to be as careful as she can.

She said: "I don't think there's enough support for people, we are going to go into a recession, well we are in one really.

"It is horrible it has got to this, especially in this day and age.

"What people need is more money, but that isn't going to be possible, the Government just needs to do whatever they can do, especially with the winter.

"We have been spoilt in recent months with the weather so we haven't needed the heating, I think that's what's worrying people now.

"The rises are coming from all angles, I treated myself to a Greggs today, but it was only £1.99. It is everything though, food, energy, everything."

Friends Sherbeena Akhtar and Rukhsana Tariq

Sherbeena Akhtar was in town with her friend Rukhsana Tariq.

Mrs Akhtar has four children and doesn't think the latest announcements will do anything to help her and her family.

"It is quite daunting heading into winter for me, thinking about the price of petrol, electricity, heating," she said. "I have four kids, the amount of electricity you get through with the games, the TV and laptops does worry me. I don't believe any of the support the Government says it will give until I see it happen and actually help me.

"I don't think through the cost of living, or with the latest announcements, they have really done anything."

Allen Bates

Allen Bates, 66, is from Birmingham but works as operations manager at Intercoat Industrial Paints in Walsall.

He said: "It is worry and trepidation at the moment because you don't know what is coming.

"I mean alright, there's a cap on energy, but are they going to push it to the maximum?

"I have seen the plans today, and I think it'll average around £430 a year it'll save me. It is nowhere near enough.

"As I commute from Birmingham it is the fuel that has hit me hardest.

"Liz Truss has picked up a poison chalice to me. Rishi Sunak was probably better situated to handle the situation, but either way it is going to be tough no matter what."

Also included in the budget is the introduction of VAT-free shopping for overseas visitors and plans to make around 120,000 more people on Universal Credit take active steps to seek more and better-paid work.

Shelia Main, 75 and Trevor Rowley, 80, say they expect to struggle after their bills jump in October.

Mr Rowely, from Pelsall, said: "I don't know how we are going to manage.

"You know with everything going up, it's difficult. I don't think what the Government has announced will be enough to help people through. We have had letters explaining how our bills will be shooting up, the gas and electric from October 1.

"It is everything rising thought really – groceries, fuel.

"I don't know what the Government can do, we've about had it in this country now."

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