Joint Statement by Brighton and Hove, and Lewes District Emergency Food Networks on the Proposed Cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits This October
As signatories of this letter, we stand in opposition to the proposed withdrawal of the temporary uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits this October, which is due to be the largest overnight cut to Social Security since World War Two.
Recent surveying conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Trussell Trust reveals the implications this cut will have on people around the country, and in our region. This research found that a fifth of people currently claiming Universal Credit -representing 1.2 million people in the UK- say they are ‘very likely’ to need to skip meals when the cut hits, and 9% -representing 900,000 people in the UK- say they are ‘very likely’ to need the support of a foodbank.
Image showing what £20 of groceries represents courtesy of Jack Monroe
The increase to Universal Credit was put in place to support households in mitigating against the impacts of the pandemic. Although lockdown may be over, the economic implications of the last 18 months are not. With rising fuel costs, various shortages, increased winter utility bills and an end to furlough, as signatories of this letter, we can see that the timing of this withdrawal by the UK Government is deeply irresponsible.
In July 2021, Brighton and Hove’s Emergency Food Network distributed over 1200 food parcels per week as well as over 2500 hot meals and food parcels were distributed to 700 households per week in the Lewes District Emergency Food Network during April 2021.
All of our projects represented below, have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to support those who have struggled to afford the essentials. Our projections suggest that if this withdrawal goes ahead it will pile even more pressure onto emergency food projects that are already stretched in terms of resources and capacity. Whilst we will always endeavour to be there for those that need us, it is not right that anyone should need to turn to emergency food to be able to afford the essentials, and this cut will force more and more people into that situation.
Nationally, over 100 organisations have formed a coalition to support the Keep the Lifeline campaign, and as emergency food providers in Lewes District and in the City of Brighton and Hove we add our collective voice to this cause and call on the Government to reverse this damaging political decision.
|Brighton Foodbank||Brighton Food Factory||Brighton and Hove Food Partnership|
|Brightstore||Brighton Women’s Centre||Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project|
|Chomp||Craven Vale Foodbank||East Brighton Food Coop|
|Fitzjohns Foodbank||Food and Friendship||Havens Community Hub|
|Moulsecoomb Community Market||Mutual Aid Foodshare||Old Boat Community Centre|
|Phoenix Residents Group||Ringmer Foodbank||St Andrew’s Moulsecoomb|
|Sussex Community Development Association||Sussex Surplus||Whitehawk Foodbank|
|CASE||Shoreham Foodbank||St Anne’s Day Centre|
|The Bevy||Bevendean Foodbank||Catholic Parish of East Brighton|
|Sussex Homeless Support||Voices in Exile||Real Junk Food Project|
|Lunch Positive||Adur Community Cafe||Broadwater Support|
|Worthing Food Foundation|