Economists and commentators have however questioned the effectiveness of the plans, warning that the energy bill freeze could cost more than £100billion and that other measures will take too long to bear fruit or are not not at all guaranteed to support the poorest.
“Low-income households need targeted financial support that takes into account family size and needs,” the letter continues, “is distributed quickly and in sufficient quantities to enable families to live decently this winter. and beyond”.
The government announced one-off payments to support households through the cost of living crisis in the spring, before inflation hit 10% for the first time in decades and the scale of runaway energy costs was related.
Economic research accompanying the letter says households on Universal Credit will need an extra £1,391 over the next six months ‘to keep warm and fed’.
More than one in five people lived in poverty at the start of 2022, a number that is expected to rise further as the nights get colder.
“We believe that concerted action can turn the tide of poverty, get us through this winter and put us on the path to a poverty-free Britain,” the letter concludes. “The government has the tools at its disposal to do this, and it must use them now.”
Get the latest news and insight into how Big Issue magazine is made by subscribe to the Inside Big Issue newsletter
The full letter and list of signatories read as follows:
As faith groups, charities, trade unions and frontline organizations, we have seen the urgency of the cost of living rise not just in the statistics, but in the lives of the people we meet day to day, in the food banks, debt centers and in our places of worship. . The most deprived in our communities face the most brutal end to this crisis and, without substantial support, will be driven into destitution.
It is the Prime Minister’s urgent moral responsibility to ensure that those on the lowest incomes have enough to live on for the months to come. Soaring costs affect everyone, but for those who were already struggling to keep their heads above water, the challenges this winter will be a matter of life and death.
The energy price guarantee announced on 8e September, while welcome, did not go far enough. Analysis published today by Professor Donald Hirsch says the average family of four receiving Universal Credit will still need an extra £1,391 over the next six months to keep warm and feed themselves. Low-income households need targeted financial support that takes family size and needs into account, delivered quickly and in large enough amounts to allow families to live decently this winter and beyond.
The increase in poverty and misery due to this crisis is not inevitable, if government, business and civil society recognize that it is an emergency and act now. We believe concerted action can turn the tide of poverty, get us through this winter and put us on the path to a poverty-free Britain. The government has the tools at its disposal to do this, and it must use them now.
Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-SteedPresident, Tzelem: The Rabbinic and Cantorial Call for Social and Economic Justice in the UK
Rabbi Charley BaginskyManaging Director, Liberal Judaism
Revd Fiona BennettGeneral Assembly Moderator, United Reformed Church
Rabbi Rebecca BirkCo-Chair, Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors
Anna BlandTeam Leader, Leeds Sanctuary
Antoine BoatengConference Vice-President, The Methodist Church in Britain
Dr Nicholas BradyGeneral Secretary, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
Rabbi Janet BurdenRabbi Emeritus, Ealing Liberal Synagogue
Heidi ChowExecutive Director, Debt Justice
niall cooperDirector, Church Action Against Poverty
Kevin Courtney and Dr. Mary BoustedJoint Secretaries General, National Union of Education
Sister Colette CroninLeader, Institute of Our Lady of Mercy
Date ColinActing President, Christian Concern for One World
Sister Lynda Dearlove rsmCEO, [email protected]
Claire DonovanHead of Research, Policy and Campaigns, End Furniture Poverty
Bishop Terry DraineyPresident and Bishop, Catholic Social Action Network & RC Diocese of Middlesbrough
Alison GarnhamExecutive Director, Child Poverty Action Group
Ben GilchristManaging Director, Caritas Shrewsbury
Rabbi Aaron GoldsteinChief Rabbi, The Ark Synagogue
Reverend James GreenExecutive Director, Together Liverpool
Rev. Lynn GreenGeneral Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain
Mia Hasenson-Grossdirector, Rene Cassin
Revd Ruth HarveyLeader, The Iona Community
Joseph Howe, CEO, Buttle UK
Imran HusseinDirector of Policy and Campaigns, Action for Children
Rabbi Richard JacobiCongregational Minister, East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue
Rabbi Neil JanesRabbi, South Bucks Jewish Community (constituent of Liberal Judaism)
The Very Reverend Andrew JohnArchbishop of Wales, The Church of Wales
Rabbi Gabriel Kanter-WebberMinister, Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue
Mr. Rajnish Kashyap MCICMGeneral Secretary, Hindu Council of UK
Peter KellyDirector, Poverty Alliance
Paul KissacCEO, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Rabbi Monique MayerBristol and Progressive Jewish Congregation of the West
Gareth McNabExternal Affairs Manager, Christians Against Poverty
Paul McNameeeditor, The Big Issue
Rabbi Lea MuhlsteinChief Rabbi, The Ark Synagogue
Zara MohammadGeneral Secretary, Muslim Council of Britain
Patrick O’DowdDirector, Caritas Diocese of Salford
Helen O’Sheanational president of the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Society
Emma RevieCEO, The Trussell Trust
Father Dominic Robinson SJPresident, Archdiocese of Westminster Justice and Peace
Revd Paul RochesterGeneral Secretary, Group of Free Churches
Rev. Ian RutherfordChairman of the Greater Manchester Food Security Action Network and Minister for City Centre, Methodist Central Hall Manchester.
Adam ScorerManaging Director, National Energy Action
Mr Paul SouthgateChairman of the Board, The National Justice and Peace Network
Very Reverend Mark StrangeBishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, and Primus, Scottish Episcopal Church
Anna Taylor, Executive Director, The Food Foundation
The Rev. Graham ThompsonPresident of the Methodist Conference, Methodist Church in Great Britain
Reverend James AllChaplain to the Archbishop of Wales, The Church in Wales
Father Adrian TuckwellCaritas Hexham and Newcastle
Jo Wittams, Co-Executive Director, The Equality Trust »