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09 August, 2022

Is cost of living support enough?

Is cost of living support enough?

Jubilee+ has joined 56+ charities and faith groups alongside former PM Gordon Brown to call on the government to take emergency action, to address the shortfall in family finances threatening millions with poverty this winter.

The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) report titled 'Is Cost of Living Support Enough?' highlights the gap between the support currently being offered to families, and the increase in cost of living.

In his introduction to the paper, former PM Gordon Brown calls this confluence of events, 'a humanitarian crisis that Britain hasn't seen in decades', and asks the government to consider addressing the shortfall without delay.

The reports states that low income households receiving Universal Credit (UC) will have faced three blows to their income between October 2021 and October 2022:

1. The loss of the £20 a week uplift introduced during the pandemic
2. An annual uprating in April 2022 of 3.1%, rather than the 9% that the Consumer Prices Index had risen over the past year (including the effect of energy cap rises up to that time).
3. A further jump in the energy cap in October 2022, originally forecast to be £800 but now subject to upward further revision.

While the Government is paying an additional £1200 this year to those on low incomes to help them cope with this cost of living crisis, this paper finds that across households, the extra help falls short of compensating the losses.

The larger the household, the bigger the loss, and a couple with three children is losing almost as much again from rising prices as they did from last year’s cut in the UC uplift. 

On top of these setbacks, the escalating cost of food and petrol will cause further pain for families if they have to wait the usual year for the next inflation-based upratings, given the unusual speed at which these costs are rising this year.

To read the full JPIT report, and consider how these realities will affect those you are working with, please click here

You may also wish to support the current CAPUK campaign by writing to your MP and asking the Chancellor to take urgent action this summer to protect those most vulnerable to the increasing cost of living.

Finally, the JPIT and CAPUK are hosting a joint online event tomorrow (Wednesday) evening 7-8pm to explore the issues covered in this report further. Sign up here to hear from people with first-hand experience of poverty, explore how churches are already in the midst of offering emergency provision and discuss the next steps for government.

09 August, 2022

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