Decisive and urgent action is needed to meet the scale of this emergency. To support low income households who are facing higher living costs and increased financial pressures, we're calling on the Government to:
1) Increase Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by £20 per week in line with the income boost given to Universal Credit and Tax Credit claimants.
JSA and ESA claimants face the same challenges as Universal Credit claimants. The decision to exclude them is unjustified. CAP ran a Facebook poll asking JSA and ESA claimants what an extra £20 per week would mean for them. An overwhelming 82% said it would simply help them pay basic living costs, showing just how vital this money is. Some commented that the extra money would be a ‘godsend’ and a ‘lifesaver’ to help pay for gas, electricity or credit on their phone to enable them to keep in touch with support services during the lockdown.
2) Immediately suspend the benefit cap for the period of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.
Without lifting the benefit cap, the recent boost to Universal Credit, Tax Credits and Local Housing Allowance (LHA) will make no material difference to tens of thousands of households. This applies especially to lone parents living on low incomes and coping with extended school closures, who are amongst those significantly affected by the pandemic.
3) Increase Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates to the median market rents (50th percentile).
Considering the increasing numbers of benefit claimants and the Government's advice to avoid moving house during this time, LHA rates need to be increased to the 50th percentile of market rents. This would help minimise the risk of families under financial pressure also facing a rent shortfall.
In a just and compassionate society, it’s not acceptable that the financially disadvantaged would suffer because of the pandemic and we must work to protect them.
Help break the chains of poverty
Email your MP
Enter your postcode in the form above and send an email to your MP quickly and easily.
Resources for your church
We've put together a number of resources to help your church navigate through coronavirus.
Find out more
Become a Life Changer
A regular gift will ensure we're here when people need us most.