News from Europe

UK churches and charities urge the new government to tackle poverty

Over 200 organisations, including churches and Christian charities -committed to end poverty - have urged the new Prime Minister to prioritise tackling hardship.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) partnered with the foodbank organisation the Trussel Trust and children’s charity Barnardo’s to write a letter to the new Prime Minister, Keir Starmer. JRF completed the sixth wave of the cost of living tracker last month, surveying 4,092 households in the bottom 40% of incomes between 26 April and 9 May 2024. It turns out that seven million low-income households in the UK (60%) were forced to go without essentials like food, adequate clothing and basic toiletries.

Based on their findings, they composed a letter that reads: “It is astonishing that with seven million households going without essentials and record numbers of emergency food parcels being provided, neither Rishi Sunak nor Keir Starmer are offering any practical measures to tackle this hardship with the urgency required. Addressing this emergency will need to be right at the top of the Prime Minister’s ‘to-do list’ after the election.”

Helen Barnard, Director of Policy at Research and Impact at the Trussell Trust, stated: “For too many years now, food bank need has risen because people on the lowest incomes simply do not have the money to afford the essentials. Ensuring the UK’s social security system is fit for purpose and provides enough support for people to afford the essentials is vital for building a future without the need for food banks. We know that hardship is an issue the public are deeply concerned about and the next Government has a responsibility to lead us into a more hopeful future, one where people are supported and food banks can close their doors for good.”

Rachel Maskell from the Labour Party gave an interview to Premier Christian Radio. She said: “Ensuring that we’ve got good quality, well-paid jobs will make a difference. There are so many issues that stir the faith community to come together and raise their voices. We’ve got to work together in partnership to ensure that Christian voices are heard across our nation. Now more than ever we need people to know that Jesus is their Lord and Saviour. We’ve got a really important role in Parliament of ensuring that the Christian voice is heard, and in the way we serve our communities as well.”



Leave a reply