£1.5 million pounds has been returned to voters in Plymouth in overpaid taxes, lost benefits or withheld support thanks to Luke Pollard, the MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, and his team of caseworkers. Since being elected in 2017, Luke has been keeping track of the sums of money him and his team have secured for constituents who have asked him for help.
The £1.5million mark was recently hit when Luke’s team were assisting a resident with an incorrect fuel bill helping return secure a £571 refund. As the energy prices have spiralled and the government has so far refused to take action, Luke’s team have had to work harder than ever to support people who are struggling to make ends meet.
“As the economic impact of COVID is beginning to bite and the cost of living is skyrocketing, my team have had to work harder than ever to get people in Plymouth the money the deserve.
“Plymouth doesn’t get its fair share of funding, but every day people are missing out on welfare support or over-paying taxes. As well as standing up for Plymouth in Parliament my team and I work to get back money that is owed in missing welfare support, child maintenance and overpaid taxes.
“Since I was first elected I have been proud to employ a small team of caseworkers to support me. Much of what they do cannot be measured, such as helping a vulnerable person get social care support, or to help a family to find a new home, and so it’s easy to overlook it. That’s why it’s so important for me to highlight the casework wins that can be measured.
“I’m proud that each and every pound returned to people in Plymouth by me and my team not only improves the personal finances of that individual and their family but is more money able to be spent in our local economy too.”
In the first two years the biggest contributor to the £1.5 million total was in helping people challenge benefit decision especially for disability benefits. Since the pandemic hit, the amount secured from challenging incorrect administration and calculations has surged, as has the amount of money secured for local businesses in COVID-19 support and help for people incorrectly denied Coronavirus employment support.