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

Trussell Trust and JRF logo lockup

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, but it is not currently set according to any objective assessment of what people need. 

This is only £91 a week for a single adult. That means there’s a significant shortfall between people’s living costs and their income, and it’s pushing people to food banks. 

This is 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.

A sign that reads 'It's time to guarantee our essentials' is held up in front of Big Ben.

Building our movement for change

Since launching the campaign we’ve been growing support for a social security system that protects people from going without the essentials.

  • Food banks have been mobilising their local communities and building awareness of how Universal Credit is falling short.
  • The general public have been taking action for a stronger social security system. Over 150,000 people signed our petition, and in the run-up to the General Election over 5,000 people urged their parliamentary candidates to sign our pledge, which urged them to use their voice if elected to advocate for changes to ensure our social security system protects people from needing a food bank to survive.
  • A wide range of parties and policy makers have shown support for the policy and our building blocks to end the need for food banks.
  • The anti-poverty sector and beyond stands with us in calling for a social security system that is fit for purpose.

Our collective voice has demonstrated that people in the UK are concerned about the rising levels of hardship in their communities. Now we need our new government to lay out how they’ll tackle this.

Whilst MPs are getting settled into their new roles, see if you can make Universal Credit add up and help raise awareness of the impossible decisions people in receipt of Universal Credit are facing.