Have you been doing your star jumps?
Or eating your porridge? Or cuddling your pets? Ideas by Ovo emailed to customers a few weeks ago on how to keep warm unsurprisingly went down like a lead balloon. If we’re being charitable, we can assume someone at the company had good intentions, but we need more serious and sensible ideas for how we’re going to meet the increasing cost of living. Rising prices are putting the squeeze on most of us, and those on the lowest incomes are getting hit hardest. Some of the organisations we work with have come up with proposals of how it might be possible to alleviate some of the pain. These include:
For energy: Expanding eligibility for Warm Homes Discount and Cold Weather Payments. In the longer-term, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. (Resolution Foundation)
For income: Reviewing Benefits payments to ensure they are keeping up with the true cost of inflation (The IFS)
In Northern Ireland there are plans to give a one-off payment of £200 to people who are on low incomes towards energy bills. The other UK governments are yet to act to prevent real hardship for people struggling to heat their homes this winter. The cost of living is only going to go one way, Governments need to act to help those facing unprecedented price rises.
In the meantime, if you’re struggling, last week’s Money Box had some good advice. Listen here.
Project in focus - Covid Realities
You may not have heard of the title, but you will probably have heard from some of the people involved in the project.
Covid Realities, a collaboration between the Universities of York and Birmingham, and Child Poverty Action Group, has been conducting participatory online research during the pandemic with parents and carers living on a low-income. The participants in the project have been speaking about their experiences in the national media, you may have heard Aurora and Dorothy share their experiences of the UC uplift on BBC Radio 4 PM (from around 17mins 30secs) or Sydnie onBBC Breakfast.
This year, Covid Realities is becoming Post-pandemic Possibilities. The Trust is really pleased to be supporting this next step in their development. More information about the project is available on our website.
Statistic of the month
83% of cash machines are within a two-minute walk of an ATM. Why does that matter? For those trying to control their gambling spend it could cause real problems. Read more.
What we like this month
Food writer and campaigner Jack Munroe struck a chord with many after she pointed out that some supermarket branded food is going up in price faster than premium ranges. She’s launched her own measure of inflation, the Vimes Boots Index, which has already got the attention of the ONS. Find out more.
The Social Security Commission has released new ideas on the future of social security, by people with direct experience. One of the headline measures is a guaranteed decent income set at 50% of the national minimum wage.
Financial Fairness Trust in the news
Our CEO, Mubin Haq, wrote about the worrying growth of inequality in The Scotsman.
Fraser of Allander set out some options for how the Scottish government could meet its target of reducing relative child poverty to 10% by 2030/31.
The University of Loughborough’s research on young people living with their parents was featured in the Independent.
Funding application deadline
We fund research, policy work and campaigns to improve living standards for people on low-to-middle incomes.
The next funding deadline is Friday 4th February 2022. Just five days to go!