The Work & Pensions Committee at Westminster issued a call for evidence on the Cost of Living Crisis.
Siobhán has submitted a Consortium response to this call for evidence using the evidence from the Women and Debt report which focused on Cost of Living issues.
The response detailed the Consortium’s concerns about the impact of the Cost of Living Crisis particularly on women and children. This comes after a Covid19 pandemic and a decade of welfare reform and austerity policies that have hit women harder. The impact of all these issues coming together has helped to create a perfect storm where those on the lowest incomes are struggling to meet their most basic needs, having to access foodbanks and expensive credit to afford essential items.
The Consortium’s response welcomed the support from Government to help protect people from the substantial and sustained increases in the cost of living and that it is right to target this help at those on the lowest incomes who can least bear the increasing costs of the most essential items such as energy and food. However, the Consortium raised concerns about the temporary nature of this help. Once this money is spent it leaves many households and families back in the situation they were in previously – struggling to make ends meet on a low income.
The response suggested that what is needed is a long-term co-ordinated approach across Government departments including increasing investment in the social security system and addressing issues around low pay. This would help to enable people to live decent, healthy lives and provide for their children and families.
The Consortium’s submission to the call for evidence is available on the Consortium website here