Community Links is supporting a joint call by third sector leaders for the government to take action against poverty this Autumn. Organisations (including Child Poverty Action Group, Shelter, the Trussell Trust and Trust for London) are calling on the the government to adjust recent welfare policy in order to support low income households and prevent more families falling into poverty.

Autumn Budget 2018

Having previously been delayed due to uncertainty over Brexit, it was recently confirmed that the Autumn Budget will be announced on Monday 29th October. Community Links has been working with a group of third sector leaders to agree on a list of three policy priorities which the Chancellor Philip Hammond should address in order to tackle poverty.

The three proposals are:

  1. To unfreeze social security benefits and increase them in line with the cost of living. This will help low income households to cope with the rising costs of living (particularly housing costs) and will prevent more families falling into poverty.
  2. Restore work incentives in Universal Credit. This will help low earners to keep more of what they earn from working longer hours and incentivise them to take more opportunities.
  3. Ensure there is proper support and advice for Universal Credit. As an online-only system, Universal Credit poses particular challenges to claimants without appropriate support. The expansion of advice and support services would support an Early Action approach to tackling poverty by helping claimants throughout the process and prevent further problems from arising.

Why these proposals?

Community Links has supported these ideas because of what we are seeing in our community every day. We run form-filling support sessions, legal, debt and housing advice, and holistic support services every week. In recent times, the demand on these services has grown. The rate of “in-work poverty” has risen substantially, and is now at its highest ever, meaning that increasingly poverty is affecting households with one, or even two, earners. This has prompted us to begin running an emergency food support session on Wednesday evenings in order to support these families in the local community.

If you are in need of advice and support, please check the services available through Community Links’ Advice Service. Alternatively, drop in any time to see how we can help you – our contact details are on the right-hand side of this page.