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The Trussell Trust responds to the Spring Statement

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Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said:


“Today the Chancellor has failed to create any security for people on the lowest incomes by failing to bring benefits payments in line with the true cost of living in the Spring Statement. This decision has created a real-terms cut to social security payments, which remain dangerously insufficient. 


“People are already making impossible decisions between heating and eating, and we know people are skipping meals, unable to afford to run cookers and fridges and taking on debt to buy the essentials. This is not right.


“This decision will mean many more people will have no option but to use a food bank. By failing to make benefits payments realistic for the times we face, the government is risking turning the cost of living crisis into an emergency. People cannot afford to wait another year for this to be reviewed. Action to rectify this situation and strengthen our social security system needs to happen immediately.”  

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Two in five Brits receiving Universal Credit forced into debt this winter as payments failed to cover soaring cost of living, says the Trussell Trust

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  • One in six people who receive Universal Credit needed to visit a food bank at least once since the start of December, according to new research

  • Almost 2m people were currently going without food, while others were living in cold conditions as they couldn’t afford to power and heat their homes

  • The charity is calling on UK government to urgently bring benefit levels in line with the rate of inflation as a bare minimum this Spring Statement to help prevent more people being forced into debt and to food banks

The Trussell Trust says new research has revealed the true and devastating consequences of the current cost of living crisis, with hundreds of thousands of families across the country struggling to get by.

A new online YouGov poll of people claiming Universal Credit shows two in five (40%) Brits receiving Universal Credit have been forced into debt this winter just to eat and pay bills.

One in six people surveyed (17%) needed to visit a food bank at least once since the start of December.

One in three (33%) people receiving Universal Credit had more than one day in the last month where they didn’t eat at all or had only one meal, while one in three people (33%) surveyed have not been able to heat their home for more than four days across the last month because they couldn’t afford to.

The charity also worked with Humankind research to interview 48 people who told researchers debt forces them into a downward spiral for their finances, their family and their mental health.

Dee, 60 from Aberdeen, worked in the building sector but was made redundant and now receives Universal Credit She said:

“It’s just so disheartening to think that I’m in debt through no fault of my own. It still won’t be paid off until I’m well into my pension. It’s causing me ongoing stress to feel like I’m never getting to the end of it. It’s overwhelming and really drags me down.”

This is the true cost of the rising price of essentials for people on the lowest incomes – people already facing impossible decisions such as heating or eating, with many having to take on debt just to get by.

People said they were unable to afford to get to work or get children to school, some said they have mould growing in their home because they can’t afford the heating, some were turning off their fridges to save money and several people highlighted an imminent risk of homelessness.

This situation is only set to get worse, says the charity, with inflation set to hit at least 7% this April.

The UK government is due to increase benefit levels by just 3.1% – less than half what’s needed to even begin to make up the shortfall. This increase amounts to just a £2 a week rise, which the charity highlights as ‘dangerously insufficient’ in light of the soaring living costs people are facing.

Worryingly, this comes on top of the £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit introduced in November and a five-year freeze on benefits rates which means these payments are worth 11% less than they were a decade ago.

The charity is calling on the UK government to increase benefits by at least 7% this April as a bare minimum, to bring them in line with the true rate of inflation and help prevent pushing more and more people into debt with no way out.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said:

“Right now, the cost of living is forcing hundreds of thousands of families across the country into a downward spiral of debt just to get by. People are telling us they’re going days with minimal food, are having to endure the cold to save money and are being forced to turn to food banks with devastating effects on people’s mental health. Social security should be protecting people from debt and food banks – not pushing them towards it.

“This isn’t right. We know the situation is only set to get worse and we cannot wait any longer.

“That’s why we are calling on the UK Government to bring benefits in line with the forecast rate of inflation as a bare minimum in the upcoming Spring Statement, to prevent thousands more people being forced into debt and through the doors of food banks. Longer term, it is vital we strengthen our social security system so it protects us all from harm and invest in local crisis support so no one needs to use a food bank to get by.”

The Trussell Trust is urging the public to write to your local MP, asking the Chancellor to take action and make social security strong enough for all of us to rely on when we need a lifeline.


Notes to editors:


  1. The research is based on an online survey by YouGov of 1,506 adults (18+) currently claiming Universal Credit. People were surveyed between 24 January – 15 February 2022.
  2. The figures have been weighted to be representative of people claiming Universal Credit. All weighting data provided by the Trussell Trust from Stat-Xplore.
  3. Figures on the proportion of people falling into debt are the Trussell Trust’s own analysis of data collected by YouGov.
  4. Figures on the percentage of people needing support from a food bank do not include those that solely used a food bank because they couldn’t physically access food.
  5. Estimates of the number of people are the Trussell Trust’s own analysis. They are calculated by taking Department for Work and Pensions data from State-Xplore on the number of people aged 16+ claiming Universal Credit in Great Britain in January 2022 and data from the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland in November 2021 and multiplying by the survey results. These figures do not include children.
  6. Inflation figures take into account multiple forecasts of rates increasing beyond 7%.
  7. The total number of people aged 16+ in Great Britain claiming Universal Credit in January 2022 was 5,627,477. In Northern Ireland in November 2021 there were 132,580.

Other detailed information on question wording and results available from the Trussell Trust on request

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Ant & Dec Team Up With The 3 Winners Of Drag Race UK For A Charity Single In Aid Of The Trussell Trust

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‘We Werk Together’ – Ant & Dec, The Vivienne, Lawrence Chaney & Krystal Versace join forces to support the Trussell Trust!  

Out Now! 


There’s some new Queens in town! 

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway returned tonight to ITV and ended their first show with a spectacular ‘End Of The Show Show’ featuring the three winners of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. 

Ant & Dec transformed into their drag alter egos Lady Antoinette and Miss Donna Lee to team up with The Vivienne, Lawrence Chaney and Krystal Versace for ‘We Werk Together’, a brand new song written especially for the show. 

Now the track is available as a single to stream and download. Net proceeds from audio streams and downloads will be donated to the Trussell Trust. 

‘We Werk Together’ is a storming and uplifting dance pop song brimming with positivity, written by Ian Masterson, the musical director of Strictly Come Dancing. 

Watch the show-stopping performance featuring Ant & Dec in drag on Saturday Night Takeaway here: 



Download the track here!


We are hugely grateful to Ant and Dec and Drag Race UK who, as well as kindly donating the proceeds of their song in support of the Trussell Trust, are helping to shine a spotlight on the issues that are driving people to food banks. 



Copyright ITV

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Autumn budget 2021: our response

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Garry Lemon, Director of Policy and Research at the Trussell Trust:

“Today the Chancellor has made a choice that is a far cry from his ‘age of optimism’, for people on the very lowest incomes. While we welcome the reduction in the taper rate which means some families can keep more of their earnings, this cannot make up for the £20 a week cut to Universal Credit. This is the largest cut to social security since the Second World War and is a devastating blow to millions of families across the UK already struggling to make ends meet. People are now facing impossible decisions, struggling to put food on the table or heat their homes.   

“A lower taper rate and higher minimum wage will not benefit the majority of people forced to food banks who are between jobs or cannot work due to disability or childcare.   

“No-one should have to turn to charity to afford the essentials needed to survive. If the Chancellor wants to ‘level up’ across the UK he must make good on his statement that ‘everyone should be able to afford the essentials.’ The answer must be to urgently invest in longer-term local welfare support and create a stronger social security system for everyone who needs it this winter and beyond.” 

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Trussell Trust response to the National Food Strategy report

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Garry Lemon, Director of Policy and Research at the Trussell Trust, said:

“Today sees the launch of the National Food Strategy, a government-commissioned independent review into the food system. As the report recommends, it’s right the government should consider widening access to vital support, such as ensuring children of migrants with No Recourse to Public Funds – meaning they cannot receive support from the social security system – can continue to receive free school meals.

“But as this review makes clear, the goal should be for everyone to have enough money in their pockets to afford decent food. To do this at the very least we need to make sure our social security system allows everyone to have enough money for the essentials. The government must start by not cutting Universal Credit by £20 a week this October. (more…)

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Budget 2021: our response

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer has set out the government’s spending plans in today’s Budget. The full details of these are available here.

In response, Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said:

“Today’s Budget has failed to give security to families on the lowest incomes by refusing to extend the Universal Credit uplift for the full, difficult year ahead. While it’s right the government extended the uplift by six months, this short-term fix does not address the serious hardship and uncertainty families will face when it is removed in September.

“We know removing the uplift could drive more than one million people to food banks and many more people are expected to need Universal Credit as unemployment rises.

“This isn’t right. We know this can change. We and our partners are urgently calling on the Chancellor to re-think and extend the uplift to 12 months at the very least, preventing people up and down the country from being swept into poverty in the wake of the pandemic.

“It’s time to build a better future together, taking action to create a stronger, more just society where everyone can afford the basics.”


For more information contact the Trussell Trust Press Office at 020 3137 3699 or [email protected]

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The Trussell Trust responds to government’s winter package of support

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Responding to the news of the government’s winter package  announced today after Marcus Rashford’s campaigning, Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust said,

“Covid-19 has already led to tens of thousands of new people needing to use a food bank for the first time, so it’s encouraging to see the government build on steps already taken to help prevent more people being locked into poverty this winter. The extension in funding for local councils in England is particularly welcome. Our latest research shows local welfare support can be an effective way of preventing someone hit by an emergency from being plunged into a longer-term crisis. (more…)

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Local lifelines – new research on local welfare schemes in England

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Earlier this week, the Prime Minister told us no child will go hungry this winter. Our new report today shows that extending local welfare would be a good place to start. 

Local Lifelines: investing in local welfare during and beyond Covid-19 shows the important role local welfare assistance schemes run by councils in England have played during Covid-19, and calls for an extension to the £63m funding announced in June, which the government expected to be spent within twelve weeks. (more…)

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Tesco announces nationwide Summer Food Collection to support food banks and local community groups

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Tesco is to hold an extra summer food collection to support the Trussell Trust and FareShare in response to an increased need for food in the wake of Covid-19.

From August 20 to 22 special donation points will be put up at every Tesco Superstore and Extra store, with customers being asked to donate essential items of long-life food. Tesco will top up all customer donations with an additional 20% donation in cash to the two charities. (more…)

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Tesco’s vital support for food banks during Covid-19

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Back at the start of April, as the full effects of the pandemic were unfolding across the UK, more and more people were needing support from food banks.

In the previous two weeks, there had already been a 81% surge in need for emergency food parcels compared to March 2019 – and as April wore on, this increased need for help would continue, with double the number of families needing help compared to the same month in 2019. (more…)

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