Next government must increase universal credit so people have enough money to survive

4 Jun 2024

Cass Francis of the Trussell Trust’s Southend Foodbank writes about why it’s so important that the next government implements an essentials guarantee into universal credit – so that benefit claimants have the money they need to survive

We’re already more than week into this election campaign, and the silence around poverty has been deafening. No party has even mentioned the issue, let alone put forward policies to support the ever-increasing number of people who are struggling to get by.

I can’t understand this. We know that 79% of the UK public agree that poverty in the UK is a big problem, with almost three in four believing it’s the government’s responsibility to change this.

In my day-to-day life, I couldn’t agree more. I see people coming through the doors of the food bank because they are living in a state of deprivation. They haven’t got enough money (because their income is too low) to afford even the essentials, like food, heating and toiletries. Luxuries like having a holiday are a million miles away from their reality.

Unfortunately, the palpable apathy that political candidates and the main parties are showing at the levels of poverty in the UK, suggest that they consider concerns around the cost of living to be temporary.

Read the full Big Issue article at –

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