The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have joined a coalition of over 50 faith and charity leaders calling on the Prime Minister to prioritise support for the poorest in their cost of living announcements, ahead of Friday's fiscal statement.
Leaders from faith communities, charities, front-line support organisations and trade unions have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Liz Truss, urging her to "ensure that people on the lowest incomes have enough to live in the months ahead".
The letter is signed by 52 charity, faith and community leaders, including representatives from The Methodist Church, The Muslim Council of Britain, The Hindu Council UK and Jewish leaders from the across the UK, as well as charities and organisations such as The Food Foundation, the Child Poverty Action Group, Action for Children, The Big Issue and The Trussell Trust.
Many charities and faith groups who provide direct support to the poorest households in communities across the UK through foodbanks, debt centres and warm banks, are also facing challenges in keeping up with increased demand amidst rising costs.
The letter calls for targeted financial support which takes into account family size and need, is distributed quickly and in amounts large enough to enable families to live decently this winter and beyond. The signatories argue that "increases in poverty and destitution because of this crisis are not inevitable, if government, business and civil society recognise that this is an emergency and act now", and call on the government to use the tools at their disposal to urgently deliver support.
In addition to the Presidency, the letter is signed by the Revd Ian Rutherford, Chair, Greater Manchester Food Security Action Network and City Centre Minister at Methodist Central Hall Manchester and from the wider Methodist family, by Imran Hussain, Director of Policy and Campaigns, for Action for Children.
Full text of the letter:
As faith groups, charities, trade unions and front-line organisations we have seen the cost of living emergency escalating not only in the statistics but in the lives of people we meet day to day, in foodbanks, debt centres and in our places of worship. The least well off in our communities are facing the sharpest end of this crisis, and without substantial support will be dragged into destitution.
It is the urgent, moral responsibility of the Prime Minister to ensure that people on the lowest incomes have enough to live in the months ahead. Spiralling costs are affecting everyone, but for those who were already fighting to keep their heads above water this winter's challenges will be a matter of life and death.
The Energy Price Guarantee announced on 8th September, whilst welcome, hasn't gone far enough. Analysis published today by Prof Donald Hirsch indicates that the average family of four receiving Universal Credit will still need an additional £1,391 over the next six months to stay warm and fed. Low income households need targeted financial support which takes into account family size and need, is distributed quickly and in amounts large enough to enable families to live decently this winter and beyond.
Increases in poverty and destitution because of this crisis are not inevitable, if government, business and civil society recognise that this is an emergency and act now. We believe that concerted action can turn the tide on poverty, see us through this winter and put us on the path to a poverty free Britain. The government has the tools to deliver this at their disposal, and they must use them now.
All Saints Methodist Church
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