Money Wellness
Volunteers working at a food bank
category iconcost of living
calendar icon28 Sep 2023

Call for cost-of-living protection for those on the lowest incomes

The government needs to do more to protect those on the lowest incomes from the cost-of-living crisis, according to the Trussell Trust.

The system of one-off cost-of-living payments is not working, the food bank charity warned.

It said over the 18 months this approach has been adopted, there has been a dip in the need for food banks directly after each payment is made but this only lasts between one to three weeks.

Cost-of-living crisis deepening

The charity went on to explain that the cost-of-living crisis is getting worse for those on the lowest incomes. Recent research from YouGov revealed half of those on universal credit ran out of food in the last month and couldn’t afford to buy more.

The Trussell Trust said more people are being dragged into debt and having to turn to food banks to survive. It claimed the escalating hardship is creating dire consequences for individuals, communities and the country as a whole – damaging the health of the UK and holding back the economy.

Call for the government to act quickly

The Trussell Trust is calling on the government to announce measures in its autumn statement on 22 November to tackle the issue.

It wants:

  • benefits to go up in line with inflation in April
  • a reduction in the amount of money that can be taken off people’s benefits to repay debts to the government
  • the freeze on local housing allowance to be lifted and for housing benefit to be brought back in line with rents
  • long-term funding for the Household Support Fund that allows local councils to offer emergency support to people in England

Long-term solution

The charity has also called for all political parties to work towards an Essentials Guarantee being introduced into legislation to embed the principle that, at a minimum, Universal Credit should protect people from going without essentials.

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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