'There has long been a profound mismatch between what those with a low income have, and what they need to get by'
A number of leading charities, think tanks and NGOs are among over 30 organisations who have signed a letter calling on the government to increase benefits by 6% in April and ensure support for housing costs increases in line with rents amid a deepening cost of living crisis.
The letter, signed by the likes of the Child Poverty Action Group, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The Trussell Trust, and the End Child Poverty Coalition among others, says that the fastest price rises in 30 years, along with soaring energy bills will particularly hurt families on low incomes.
The letter states: “There has long been a profound mismatch between what those with a low income have, and what they need to get by. Policies such as the benefit cap and benefit freeze have left many struggling. Families are still reeling from the £20 cut to Universal Credit last October. And, though benefits will increase by 3.1% in April, inflation is projected to be 6% by then. This means yet another real terms cut to incomes.
“The government must respond to the scale of the challenge. Immediate targeted protection to prevent serious hardship is essential, but short-term support will not be enough in the face of ongoing inflation.
“The government should increase benefits by 6% in April and ensure support for housing costs increases in line with rents. All those struggling, including families affected by the benefit cap, must feel the impact.”
Here’s a list of all the organisations that have signed the letter:
Alison Garnham, Chief Executive, Child Poverty Action Group
Graeme Cooke, Director of Evidence and Policy, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Emma Revie, Chief Executive, The Trussell Trust
Imran Hussain, Director of Policy & Campaigns, Action for Children
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK
Sarb Bajwa, Chief Executive, British Psychological Society
Joseph Howes, CEO, Buttle UK
Leigh Elliott, CEO, Children North East
Laurence Guinness, Chief Executive, The Childhood Trust
Paula Stringer, CEO, Christians Against Poverty (CAP)
Niall Cooper, Director, Church Action on Poverty
James Plunkett, Executive Director of Advice & Advocacy, Citizens Advice
Derek Mitchell, Chief Executive, Citizens Advice Scotland
Dr Ruth Patrick, Principal Investigator, Covid Realities research programme
The Disability Benefits Consortium
Anna Feuchtwang, Chair, End Child Poverty Coalition
Victoria Benson, CEO, Gingerbread
Graham Whitham, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Manchester Poverty Action
Sabine Goodwin, Coordinator, Independent Food Aid Network
Jess McQuail, Director, Just Fair
Sophie Corlett, Director of External Relations, Mind
Nick Moberly, CEO, MS Society
Jane Streather, Chair, North East Child Poverty Commission
Satwat Rehman, CEO, One Parent Families Scotland
Dr Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive, Oxfam GB
Peter Kelly, Director, The Poverty Alliance
Dan Paskins, Director of UK Impact, Save the Children UK
James Taylor, Executive Director of Strategy, Impact & Social Change, Scope
Thomas Lawson, Chief Executive, Turn2us
Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director, The Women’s Budget Group
Katherine Hill, Strategic Project Manager, 4in10 London’s Child Poverty Network
Basit Mahmood is the editor of Left Foot Forward