Government’s budget offers short-term relief for poorest
published on 23 Mar 2022
Spring Budget: Help with cost of living offers short-term relief for poorest.
The Salvation Army welcomes the support in today’s Budget to help people cope with the rise in the cost of living. This includes an increase to the Household Support Fund, which councils use to help low income households and families with children.
However, the Church and Charity warns these measures are a short-term fix and won’t stop the cycle of poverty in the UK’s most deprived areas.
The Salvation Army’s Lieut-Colonel Dean Pallant said: “The rising cost of living has hit the poorest the hardest and we are pleased the Government is taking steps to reduce this financial burden."
“We see first-hand the pressure families are under. Our officers are struggling to meet the demand for our food banks. However, while we are relieved there are measures to tackle the cost of living in the short-term, more needs to be done to help people escape from poverty in the long-term.
“The Government has pledged to level up the country and our research* shows that to do that there must be investment in helping people into secure jobs. That means helping people retrain in areas where old industries have died and investing in childcare to ensure parents can afford to work.
“Without these measures, people living in the areas that the Government has pledged to ‘level up’ will struggle to escape the poverty trap. The cost of living crisis will only make them more dependent on emergency measures to make ends meet.
The Salvation Army is calling on the Government to:
- Invest in skills and employment support to help individuals out of low-skill, low-wage jobs.
- Expand free childcare provision so parents can afford to work or train.
- Ensure that investment to level up the country by tackling regional inequalities helps lift deprived communities out of poverty.
- Give those on Universal Credit sixty days ‘breathing space’ to pay back the loan they received while waiting for their first Universal Credit payment to prevent then falling into debt.