Is Cost of Living Support Enough? New report


As living costs skyrocket, millions of families in the UK are struggling to make ends meet. This new report (launched 7 August 2022) by Professor Donald Hirsch, Loughborough University, reveals the gap between the support the government is currently offering to households and the anticipated rise in living costs. It concludes that millions of families are at risk of going without, because the support they’ve been given simply doesn’t stretch far enough.

Endorsed by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and over 55 faith groups, charities and political leaders, the report calls on the government to take urgent action to bridge the cost of living gap faced by the lowest income families in our communities.

Click here to read the report


Gordon Brown, UK Prime Minister from 2007-2010

We are facing a humanitarian crisis that Britain hasn’t seen in decades. As living costs continue to skyrocket, families on the brink of making ends meet cannot bridge the gap. Despite the additional support from government, millions of people are at risk of being pushed deeper into poverty by forces outside of their control.

It is the urgent task of the next Prime Minister to ensure that families have enough to live, through this crisis and beyond. I am grateful that this paper outlines the gap the government must urgently fill before the next wave of rising costs overwhelms people. Together with faith groups and charities working on the front-lines to offer urgent support, we have listened to the people who are at risk of falling through the gaps if action isn’t taken. We have heard from the families we’ve met and those highlighted in the report that the flat-rate payments offered by the government won’t stretch far enough for families who each have different needs and circumstances. These must be the people the next Prime Ministers prioritises as we look for solutions.
Alongside the organisations, charities and faith groups who have endorsed this paper, I call on the government to take immediate action to bridge the shortfall and ensure families have enough to live.

We, the undersigned, ask the Government to consider appropriate measures to bridge the shortfall in family finances documented in this paper.

Rabbi Charley Baginsky, CEO, Liberal Judaism
Revd Fiona Bennett, Moderator of the General Assembly, United Reformed Church
Lord John Bird, Founder, The Big Issue
Anthony Boateng, Vice-President, The Methodist Church in Britain
Paul Bodenham, Programme Leader for Social Action, Caritas Diocese of Nottingham
Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretaries, National Education Union
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire
Nicola Brady, General Secretary, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester
Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, Chair of ChurchWorks Commission on Covid Recovery
Heidi Chow, Executive Director, Debt Justice
John Coleby, CEO, Caritas Westminster
Niall Cooper, Director, Church Action on Poverty
Revd R Creswell, Chair, The Methodist Fund for Human Need
Archbishop Leo William Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh
Colin Date, Acting Chair, Christian Concern for One World
Claire Donovan, Campaigns Manager, End Furniture Poverty
Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales
Jamie Driscoll, Mayor of North Tyne Combined Authority
Andy Elvin, Chief Executive, TACT Fostering
Revd Archie Ford, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
Alison Garnham, Chief Executive, Child Poverty Action Group
Ben Gilchrist, CEO, Caritas Shrewsbury
Revd Lynn Green, General Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain
Revd James Green, Executive Director, Together Liverpool
Ruth Harvey, Leader, The Iona Community
Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director, René Cassin
Rev Karen Hendry, Acting Convenor, Faith Impact Forum, Church of Scotland
Joseph Howes, Chair, End Child Poverty Coalition and CEO of Buttle UK
Imran Hussain, Director of Policy and Campaigns, Action for Children
Revd/Parchg Beti-Wyn James, President Union of Welsh Independents/Llywydd Undeb yr Annibynwyr Cymraeg

Archbishop Andrew John, Archbishop of Wales and Bishop of Bangor, Church in Wales
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
Rajnish Kashyap, General Secretary, Hindu Council UK
Peter Kelly, Director, Poverty Alliance
Paul Kissack, Chief Executive, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Red Dr Ellen Loudon, Chair Together Liverpool
Peter Lynas, UK Director, Evangelical Alliance
Paul McNamee, Editor, The Big Issue
Jon Miles, Senior Development Worker, Transforming Communities Together
Zara Mohammed, Secretary-General, Muslim Council of Britain
Dan Norris, Mayor of the West of England
Elizabeth Palmer, CEO, St Vincent de Paul Society (England & Wales)
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol
Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, Chair, Justice & Peace Commission, Diocese of Westminster
Revd Paul Rochester, General Secretary, Free Churches Group
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region
Bishop Mike Royal, General Secretary, Churches Together in England
Rev Ian Rutherford, Chairperson, Greater Manchester Food Security Action Network
Adam Scorer, Chief Executive, National Energy Action
Paul Southgate, Chair, National Justice and Peace Network
Most Revd Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
Paula Stringer, UK Chief Executive, Christians Against Poverty
Anna Taylor, Executive Director, Food Foundation
Revd Graham Thompson, President, Methodist Church in Britain
Anna Turley, Chair, North East Child Poverty Commission
Matthew Van Duyvenbode, CSO , Trussell Trust
Natalie Williams, Chief Executive, Jubilee+
Jo Wittams, Interim Executive Director, The Equality Trust

Join our launch event with JPIT and CAPuk on Wednesday 10th August

About the Author

Professor Donald Hirsch is a poverty expert at Loughborough University. He was Poverty Advisor to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for ten years, before joining the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University in 2008. He played a key role in establishing a Minimum Income Standard for the UK, and in the establishment of the accredited Living Wage. Between 2012 – 2022 he served as Director of the Centre for Research in Social Policy. He has produced key reports on child poverty and the living wage.

Click here find out more about Professor Hirsch.

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