The Salvation Army responds to the new Prime Minister
published on 6 Sep 2022
“We are all praying for Prime Minster Truss and her Government. She enters power facing tremendous challenges to the country with incredibly difficult decisions to make." Says Lieutenant-Colonel Dean Pallant.
“The Salvation Army is party politically neutral; our role is to give a voice to the most vulnerable people in society. Our food banks, after-school clubs, homeless outreach, Lifehouses, debt advice and employment services are full of people living hand to mouth and fearful of the future. We pray that Prime Minster Truss keeps in mind these most vulnerable of people we are trying to support.
“In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, Paul writes to Timothy, offering advice, and says: ‘I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for rulers and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.’
“In speaking up for those who come to us for help, we ask that the Government make the following areas a priority in the next six months,
The cost of living crisis - Especially helping people on the lowest incomes.
- Temporary replacement of Universal Credit loans with grants until the cost of living crisis has been resolved.
- The waiting time for a Universal Credit first payment to be reduced from six to two weeks, so people aren’t forced into debt.
- Existing Universal Credit debt to be included in the Government's 60 day 'Breathing Space' scheme, giving people more time to make repayments.
Levelling Up - Maintaining momentum on Levelling Up with a focus on ensuring prosperity is truly shared across our whole country- so that no people and places are left behind.
- Reconsider how funding is allocated from the Levelling Up agenda, with coastal communities being recognised as an investment priority.
- Develop a new plan of investment to fund childcare so that parents can access work and training opportunities. Recommendations include extending 30 hours per week of free childcare to 52 weeks, extending business rates relief for nurseries and providing additional childcare services to parents whose children benefit from the school Pupil Premium grant.
- Engage with communities to identify what investment will best ‘Level Up’ these areas.
- Invest in skills and employment support; to help individuals out of low-skill, low-wage employment.
Homelessness and Rough Sleeping - Delivering the 2019 manifesto promise to end rough sleeping and investment in services that help people break the chain of homelessness and rough sleeping.
- That mental health and addiction support is part of local authority homelessness strategies and that targets are set on the number of homeless people who are provided with mental health and addiction support alongside existing targets for accommodation.
- That cities and regions with high levels of homelessness introduce the same recording system of the rough sleeping population as in London (CHAIN statistics), which provides detailed information on the number of homeless people in need of support for drugs, alcohol, and mental health problems.
- Local authorities should produce statistics that can show the level of homelessness both locally and nationally and how much they are spending on supporting different groups of homeless people so funding can be appropriately allocated to different services.
Ending modern slavery - Preventing people from being enslaved and ensuring that people who have experienced modern slavery can access the specialist support that they need.