Faith Leaders Call on UK Government to Take Action to Address Cost of living Crisis

 Cuts in Universal Credit, inadequate uprating of benefits with accelerating inflation in April and the further rise in the energy cap anticipated in October – are accelerating the cost of living crisis in the UK.

Faith leaders have called upon the UK Government, which has the economic levers to alleviate the situation, to take urgent action.

The Church of Scotland’s Rev Karen Hendry, acting convener of the Faith Impact Forum, said:

“The Church’s theological tradition is to speak truth to power and is committed to speaking up for the most vulnerable people in society.

“Individuals and families on the lowest incomes are facing the most serious cost of living crisis in decades and churches are on the frontline of offering essential, lifeline support to them.

“The UK Government has a moral duty to take long-lasting and meaningful action to ensure that this crisis doesn’t deepen and doesn’t happen again.”

The Scottish Government has called for an urgent meeting with the UK Government and the other devolved nations. Action Needed Now to Address Cost of Living Crisis

The comments come after the publication of a report ‘Is Cost of Living Support Enough?’, by  Professor Donald Hirsch. He  said:

“The shortfall families are facing between skyrocketing costs and the support government has offered continues to grow.

“Families were falling behind with the anticipated rise in costs even when the measures were announced, and since then the food and energy costs forecast for this winter have continued to rise sharply.

“The flat rate emergency payments announced so far leave families with children particularly far behind, because they are not sensitive to the extra costs that children bring.

“A new package needs to address the fact that by the autumn, living costs could have risen by as much as 14% for low-income families, who have received only a 3% increase in benefits.

An additional across-the-board uprating to Universal Credit and other benefits would address family need far more effectively than further flat rate payments.”

The report compiled by Professor Hirsch, director of the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University was commissioned by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The promised Brexit Bonanza has produced delays at cross channel ports, rising food prices and a shortage of workers as the UK left the world’s largest Free Trade market. The worst economic effects of the Covid pandemic have been on the least well off in society and 1.8 million people in the UK are struggling with long Covid. While people were dying and their families unable to visit them, the Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, and his staffers were partying in Downing Street. The UK has a Government asleep at the wheel while they argue over internal Tory party matters to choose their next leader.

Fiona Grahame