April 2022 | Fair Point | abrdn Financial Fairness Trust Newsletter

01 April 2022

Pinch Punch

It’s the first of the month and many of us really are going to be feeling the pinch as energy prices rise from today. There were reports of energy suppliers’ websites crashing yesterday as customers rushed to submit their meter readings before prices increased. After last week’s spring statement many of us were left scratching our heads, wondering why there was not more provision for those on the lowest incomes. You can read our statement here.

Given that so little was done to help people struggling with rising prices, you might be forgiven for wondering how we ended up with the social security system we have. In our latest podcast, Child Poverty Action Group’s Alison Garnham discusses all things social security. It’s a really interesting history lesson on how our social security system has evolved over time, and what progress is still needed. Find out how to listen here.

Project in focus – how do we end the need for food banks?

“Emergency support can in no way be treated as a replacement for an adequate social security system, but it does play a vital role in that system. It should help families through one-off shocks that cause a sudden drop in income or increase in costs, such as the onset of a health problem or the washing machine breaking down. In practice, however, many families are not getting the support they need when they need it. This is contributing to the rising demand for food banks.”

In a two-year project, Child Poverty Action Group has been exploring how to end the need for food banks. What is the role of this type of support? And how should it be delivered? Read the report.

Statistic of the month

Over last 12 years…

The cash value of tax-free allowances has grown by 117%

Inflation by 30%

And basic working-age benefits…. by just 17%.

In the shadows, a new report from the Fabian Society (supported by the Trust) found social security significantly eroded in comparison to the financial support provided to households via tax-free allowances. Read the report.

Need to know – the truth about the impact of UC cuts

We funded Centrepoint to carry out an analysis of how the £20 cut to Universal Credit last year affected vulnerable young people. Unsurprisingly they were hit hard, with many reporting skipping meals. Read the report here.

New vacancies

Are you passionate about improving living standards and tackling financial problems?  We’re looking for new Trustees to join our Board, find out more here.