Chancellor announces relief for low income households as the cost of living bites – The Equality Trust responds

Dr Zubaida Haque, Executive Director of The Equality Trust said:

“We welcome the decision by the Chancellor to belatedly target financial support for low income households, disabled groups and pensioners through direct payments and the benefit system. While we are all in this crisis together, there is no question that low income, disabled and poor pensioner households have been suffering the most with higher energy, food and living costs since April 2022. But these measures cannot be a short term solution to a longer term problem; the low income households which were vulnerable and needed extra state support during the pandemic are the same households that need extra support now. We must start addressing the root causes of poverty and hardship rather than just patching them during times of national crisis.”

In order to respond to the cost of living crisis, the Equality Trust believes that we need: 

  • A social security safety net system that not only supports households during times of national crisis, but fully supports them in between. Reforms to welfare benefits have turned families to foodbanks and in-work poverty is at an all time high. Benefits need to be adequate, access by all groups in need including migrants with No Recourse to Public Funds and in line with inflation and living costs.
  • Recognise and address the disproportionate impact of the cost of living crisis (which is only going to get worse) on households (including those with children) who have the lowest incomes, disabled groups and poorer pensioner households.
  • Ensure the Socio-economic Duty is enacted in England (and also by local authorities) as it is in Wales and Scotland so that public authorities have to have due regard to socio-economic inequalities in their decision making.

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2.The Equality Trust is the national charity that campaigns to improve quality of life in the UK by reducing economic and social inequality.