Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has joined with 56 faith groups, charities and politicians to call on the Government to take urgent action to bridge the cost of living gap faced by the lowest income families.

Church Action on Poverty is among the organisations backing the call.

Report highlights size of the gap

The move comes in response to a report, ‘Is cost of living support enough?’ written by poverty expert and Loughborough University Professor
Donald Hirsch.

It reveals the gap between the support the Government is currently offering to
households and the anticipated rise in living costs.

The report concludes that the current flat-rate
payments offered by the government will fall at least £1,600 short of making up for recent changes to living costs and benefits faced by a couple with two children.

We call for an emergency budget and urgent action

Niall Cooper, director of Church Action on Poverty, says: “If the Government doesn’t take further action to support low-income families, we face one of the most challenging winters in living memory, where the number of people in
poverty in the UK could hit record highs.

“Many of the community-based partners we work with, who support people in or at risk of poverty, are already stretched to the limit. People need much more support, of the type and scale that only Government can coordinate. 

“We need solutions that are not flat-rate or one-off, but which recognise the different needs of families and households on low-incomes, such as uprating benefits in line with inflation, to
ensure that households receive the correct increase according to their needs.

“Addressing this emergency must be the first priority of the new Prime Minister, and we call for an emergency budget to enable decisive and compassionate solutions to be brought forward.”

Who has backed the call?

The report by Professor Hirsch has been endorsed by:

  • Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown
  • 22 charities
  • 24 faith leaders, including Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Jewish leaders
  • 8 political leaders, including seven regional mayors and First Minister of Wales Mark


The report was widely covered by the UK media on Sunday and Monday, and one of our partners Wayne Green, from Shoreham, was among the people leading the calls for action.

He told Sky News that poor people were being disenfranchised from society, and that systems and structures were not working properly.

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