Relief at cost of living support but poverty still a problem
published on 26 May 2022
Responding to the Government’s new emergency measures to address soaring energy prices amid the cost of living crisis, The Salvation Army’s Lieut-Colonel Dean Pallant said:
“We are hugely relieved the Government has acted to significantly lesson the pain of rising energy costs on the poorest households. The people visiting our foodbanks and support services were growing increasingly desperate and these emergency measures will help to stop them falling even further into poverty.
“But we must not forget that emergency support, though desperately needed right now, only puts a plaster on poverty.
“We hope the Chancellor's announcement means that all benefits intended to help people on low incomes, will keep up with inflation so nobody in need misses out. What’s also vital is for the Government to urgently act on its promise to level up the country’s deprived communities otherwise they are destined to remain forever trapped by hardship. This would not only damage people’s lives but the country’s hopes for prosperity."
The Salvation Army is calling for long term, sustainable Government support for people in poverty to include:
- All benefits intended to help people on low incomes to keep up with inflation
- Existing Universal Credit debt to be covered in the Government's 60 day 'Breathing Space' scheme, giving people more time to make repayments.
- Expansion of free childcare provision so parents can afford to work or train.
- A new cross-Government task force to tackle, with empathy and compassion, the reasons people are not earning and are trapped in poverty.