SAVE THE CHILDREN STATEMENT: LIZ TRUSS’S ENERGY PLAN WON’T STOP STRUGGLING FAMILIES FROM REACHING CRISIS POINT THIS WINTER
Becca Lyon, head of child poverty at Save the Children, said: “After families have suffered months of unbearable anxiety waiting for a solid plan, it is encouraging to see Liz Truss commit large sums of money to help people through the cost of living crisis.
“Freezing bills for two years provides some stability and will stop some families from falling into hardship, but it will not prevent many others from reaching crisis point this winter. These are hardworking parents who won’t be able to afford to run a warm bath for their children and who’ll skip meals so their kids can eat. Capping energy prices at £2,500 is still staggeringly high for low-income families. Many couldn’t afford to put the heating on last winter, let alone now with a cap over £1,000 higher than bills in 2021.
“With the cost of food skyrocketing, and childcare bills also going up, families battling on low incomes have already hit an absolute limit. Capping energy prices does not acknowledge the additional costs families face. How can it be right that multi-millionaires will get the same support as the most vulnerable families?
“If there is enough money to pay the energy bills of the rich and not ask energy giants to pay a penny more, surely there should be enough money to make sure no family has to choose between heating and eating this winter.
“The cost to our children is stark. There’s been no money for many to have a new school uniform. Some have even been wearing dirty clothes to school because it’s too expensive to run the washing machine, and they’re spending more days unable to concentrate in the classroom because food costs are spiralling. They deserve better.
“The Prime Minister needs to deliver a plan that provides targeted support to families on low incomes who are juggling big bills on all fronts. The best way to do this is by putting more money into Universal Credit - this should be done immediately. An increase in income could ensure children can get a hot meal each day as food prices rise in the shops, that houses are kept warm, and that people are prevented from falling into agonising debt as they try to make ends meet.
“This crisis is hitting families on the lowest incomes the hardest. We know from the pandemic that increasing benefits works to take children out of poverty, and that's why we want to see an increase of £10 per child per week, and for the existing cost of living package to double.”
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