When people are going without, it's time to...


Help us ensure everyone can afford life’s essentials

We live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and yet people here in the UK are going without the essentials we all need to get by.

Anyone’s circumstances can change. Losing your job, needing to care for a sick family member, breaking up with your partner – these are things that can happen to any of us.

That’s why Universal Credit should offer support to anyone in need of help, but right now it’s not providing enough to cover the cost of life’s essentials, such as food, household bills or travel costs

90% of low-income households receiving Universal Credit are going without at least one essential like food, a warm home or toiletries.

Words cannot explain the terror I felt, I was running out of food and went many days without so my children had enough. Having the heating on became a luxury and I found myself in debt with most of my bills.

Deborah, someone with experience of needing a food bank

When people are going without, it’s time to guarantee our essentials

We can’t always deal with what life throws at us on our own, which is why we need to have a system in place that supports us all to afford the essentials while we recover from setbacks.

Without a decent safety net, we are not properly supported if we face challenging times. This is pushing people to food banks.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

More and more people are speaking up and saying that the basic rate of Universal Credit must at least be enough to afford the essentials we all need to get by.

Will you campaign with us to call on the UK Government to guarantee our essentials?

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We need an Essentials Guarantee

The basic rate of Universal Credit should at least cover the cost of essentials like food, household bills and travel costs, but it is not currently set according to any objective assessment of what people need. That means there’s a significant shortfall between people’s living costs and their income, which is forcing many to skip meals, switch off essential appliances such as fridges, and turn off their heating.

That’s why we’re working with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to call for an Essentials Guarantee within Universal Credit, which means the basic rate at least covers life’s essentials and that support can never be pulled below that level. Read more on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation website.

Universal Credit has been underpaid for so long that it is impossible for people to survive on the amount they receive when prices are going up all the time.

Helen Gilbert Project Manager King’s Lynn