Response to 2024 party manifestos


Press contact

Media team


Claire Atchia McMaster, director of income and external affairs, says: 

“There have been some positive plans announced this week aimed at addressing the urgent needs of millions facing poverty in the UK, but they fall short of addressing the real hardship and consequences of poverty.  Every day, we speak to hundreds of people forced to go without food and essentials. This is a direct result of the erosion of the real-terms value of benefits and a punitive approach to social security. 

"Poverty in the UK is not only widening, but deepening. Currently, 14.4 million people, including 4.2 million children, live in poverty. This represents about one in five people, with 1.5 million experiencing severe poverty, living on less than 40% of the median income—a stark increase over the past two decades. In 2022, nearly 4 million people faced destitution. For 6 million of the poorest, their income would need to double just to reach the poverty line. 

"Whoever wins the upcoming election must urgently listen to people's experiences and design a compassionate and fair social security system that supports anyone who needs it. This must begin with ensuring benefits adequately cover essential living costs and abolishing punitive measures like the two-child limit and sanctions. We need policies designed to ensure everyone can thrive. Without significant changes, the poverty gap will only widen, leaving more people without the basics necessary for a dignified life.”