As this report highlights, targeted government support does help, but millions of people still face uncertainty due to inflation and being unable to pay rising bills.
Responding to a Joseph Rowntree Foundation annual report on poverty, which shows that 13.4 million people were in poverty during 2020/21 including 3.9 million children, Cllr Peter Marland, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said:
“Protecting those in poverty is a critical priority for councils. As this report highlights, targeted government support does help, but millions of people still face uncertainty due to inflation and being unable to pay rising bills.
“The Government should make the Household Support Fund it has provided to councils permanent, alongside greater flexibility to ensure this helps those in the greatest need and crucially shift focus from short-term crisis support to investing in prevention.
“Councils should also have the resources and flexibilities to tackle inequalities in housing, employment, education and to improve access to services such as debt advice and welfare benefits, to improve our communities’ overall health. Green, inclusive local economies and access to amenities which promote health and wellbeing also have a role, at a time of intense pressure on households and services.
“Alongside this, we need a sufficient mainstream welfare system, which ensures families have enough income to meet their essential living costs including addressing the freeze in local housing allowance rates.”