Homeless Link has joined over 90 charities uniting behind a call to guarantee essentials for low-income households.
The 'Guarantee our Essentials' campaign is being led by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Trussell Trust. The cost-of-living crisis, which has seen the prices of everyday items like food and clothing soar since 2021, has made this problem worse. But the UK’s inadequate social security system hasn’t provided enough help for years. 2.4 million people experienced destitution at some point in 2019, up 54% since 2017.
Research by JRF and the Trussell Trust published earlier this year showed how the shortfall between the basic rate of Universal Credit and the cost of essentials, such as food, bills and vital household items, is a key driver behind increasing levels of hardship.
The standard allowance of Universal Credit is only £85 a week for a single adult. That’s at least £35 a week below a conservative estimate of what’s needed to afford these essentials. Often people receive even less as they face deductions from their support which are automatically taken at unaffordable rates, for example to pay off debts to the UK government.
The group of over 90 organisations have written to all UK party leaders asking what they intend to do to help the millions of households going without essentials.