EASTBOURNE MP Caroline Ansell has spoken in the reaction of Boris qutting as PM.

Here is part of her weekly message: “My overriding takeaway from the turmoil in Westminster and the resignation of the Prime Minister is that we need to get on with the important challenges we face as a country.

The cost-of-living is real for many families in our town and my team and I are organising events and offering support. There will be advice surgeries announced very soon.

The Government’s £37 billion of support this year is making a difference but I would again urge people to look carefully over whether there are benefits they could access.

It is thought around 1000 older people across Eastbourne and Willingdon are eligible for pension credit and it is critical we connect them to these funds.  

This benefit is a top up that is worth an average of £3,300. As well as a cash top up to the state pension, it also acts as a passport to other benefits such as help with housing costs, council tax reduction schemes, heating bills and a free over-75s TV licence. 

The news came through this week that only 384,000 families out of 1.3 million who are eligible are claiming tax-free childcare.

The scheme enables parents to draw upon up to £2,000 a year to help pay for childcare ranging from nurseries to childminders.

It effectively cuts 20% off the cost of this expense. Parents need to open a childcare account with HMRC and save money into it and I think this is where there may be a barrier to take up

But it is worth doing as every 80p that is put into your account means the state will add 20p.

News of the Prime Minister’s resignation has also overshadowed another major piece of news around the cost of living.

The National insurance threshold changed on Wednesday meaning the amount at which people start having to pay NI will increase to £12,570 – a rise of £2,690.

It is estimated that 30 million people will pay less tax because of this. This is good news in challenging times.

Government funded Holiday Food and Activity Programmes will be running for a second year this summer in Eastbourne for children on free school meals, something I raised with the Children’s Commissioner this week.

This is really important support for families when school holidays can present extra pressures.”