White Paper welcome but race on to reach most in need
published on 2 Feb 2022
The Salvation Army has welcomed plans in the Government’s White Paper to increase opportunities, raise wages and provide decent housing in the UK’s deprived communities. It called Levelling Up a chance to invest in the thousands of people that don’t want a handout but a hand up.
The church and charity has been calling for Levelling Up funding* to be invested in developing local labour markets that rely on low skilled and low paid work or shrinking industries that trap entire communities in poverty.
The Salvation Army’s Lieut-Colonel Dean Pallant, said: “The people who come to our food banks, debt and employment advice services want to work but are often held back by things beyond their control. Poorly paid seasonal work, lack of access to affordable childcare or just no opportunity to retrain when a large local employer shuts, can trap people and entire areas in deprivation. The Levelling Up Fund is a chance to invest in the thousands of people that don’t want a handout but a hand up.
“To achieve its bold goal to level up the country we urge the Government to rethink how need is calculated to ensure that the remainder of the funding is focused on investment on areas with the highest levels of deprivation.”
The Salvation Army is calling for the Government to:
- Reconsider how funding is allocated from the Levelling Up Fund, to ensure investment is made in the most deprived communities.
- Develop a new plan of investment to fund childcare so that parents can access work and training opportunities.
- Invest in skills and employment support to help individuals out of low-skill, low-wage employment.
- Engage with communities to identify what investment will best ‘Level Up’ their areas.
The Salvation Army works in some of the poorest communities across the UK running foodbanks, providing shelter to the homeless and helping people to find work and manage their debts.
*The Levelling Up Fund was announced in 2020 and is worth £4.8 billion, with £4 billion of this to be spent in England and £0.8 billion to be spent in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.