Turn2us responds to the Autumn Budget 2022
Turn2us welcomes the uprating of benefits. However, we know that households are already stretching their budgets as far as they will go. Many are already struggling to pay for essentials and cannot wait until April for more support.
Households on the lowest incomes struggling to pay for basics like rent and food should not have to weather the financial storm hitting the UK unsupported. Nor should they feel their dignity and financial security is an expensive commitment.
Sarah McLoughlin, Director of Programmes and Partnerships commented:
“There are 14.5 million people living below the poverty line and we predict this is likely to dramatically increase, without more measures being introduced to help people facing acute financial hardship.
We will continue to offer support targeted to people most impacted by this Statement but the scale of the perfect storm which is coming needs a substantial and systematic response.”
Matt, a recently qualified teacher, with two young children who has felt the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, comments:
“I’ve been dreading the announcement of the Autumn budget for weeks and worrying constantly that the measures announced won’t be enough to help me support my family.
The narrative around benefits needs to change. I’m a teacher in full time work currently claiming universal credit. People from all walks of life are now finding themselves in a position where they need financial support. It’s not right. I have had to consider getting second job as benefits aren’t enough to help us get out of a financial black hole. But there are not enough hours in the day.
We’ve already had to dial back on our food shops and electricity. Luxuries like a birthday party for our 4-year-old and Christmas have been completely stripped back. We can’t cut any more from our budget. The government’s announcement today felt bland and like a one-size-fits-all package when so many people across the country are struggling and need help way before April.”
The difficult road ahead
At a time when more of us are struggling to afford the basics, the government should be providing a stronger safety net and not prioritise unwarranted punitive measures for people who they describe as ‘economically inactive’.
The OBR says that despite the new support with energy bills, living standards are going to fall by 7% over the next two years, there will be a drop in real wages and 500,000 people could be pushed out of work.
We anticipate that more people will turn to us for support over the coming months and will be launching a ‘Living Costs’ fund to support people most impacted by these announcements in partnership with strategic partners throughout the UK.
Turn2us are calling on the government to invest in long-term change to support people before they reach financial crisis.
Gary, who has lived experience of financial insecurity, and has been supported by Turn2us, said:
“The uprating of benefits feels like a sticking plaster on a leak that’s been left too long. People on the lowest incomes and relying on benefits are still going to struggle this winter before we receive extra support.”
I wish that government would understand the struggles that people on the lowest incomes are actually facing, and the hard decisions people have had to make. We have to prioritise what we need, like keeping electricity on for medical equipment and putting food on the table. Other bills get left to the wayside, so arrears and debts continue to build. People need support and they need it now.”
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For further information and interviews with Turn2us spokespeople, please contact the Turn2us Communications team on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
Turn2us is a national poverty charity that offers practical information and support to people facing financial insecurity. We work alongside those who have experienced not having enough money to live on, to develop tools and services that help people cope with life-changing events such as job loss, illness, or bereavement.
Visit the Turn2us website to use the Benefits Calculator to find out what welfare benefits and tax credits you could be entitled to, a Grants Search to learn if you might be eligible for support from over 1,500 charitable funds, and a range of information and resources to help those of us who are struggling to get by. We also provide direct financial assistance through a range of specific grant funds that are managed directly by the charity.