July 8, 2024

Resolve Poverty urges the new government to take swift action on poverty

By Laura Burgess, Head of Policy & Research at Resolve Poverty

Resolve Poverty has congratulated the new Prime Minister and his government on a historic win at last week’s general election.  

This week, we have written to the Prime Minister and several cabinet members, urging them to take swift and decisive action on poverty. Poverty is a blight on the UK, damaging lives, limiting opportunity and harming the country economically. During the last Conservative government’s tenure, there was no national focus on addressing poverty at its root cause, and government ideology plunged more people into hardship.   

At Resolve Poverty, we believe that eradicating poverty must be a national mission, spearheaded by the government in Westminster and delivered by regional and local governments. We’ve welcomed the poverty-focused manifesto commitments the Labour Party was elected on, and have encouraged urgent action on specific issues, such as: 

  • Enacting the socio-economic duty within the first one-hundred days of the new parliament, in order to send a clear message that addressing socio-economic disadvantage is a priority for the new Labour government
  • Addressing the insecurity of the Household Support Fund and instead opting for a model of long-term, ring-fenced funding for councils to operate functional Local Welfare Assistance Schemes (LWAS) that take a cash-first approach to welfare support
  • Ensuring statutory minimum rates of pay reflect the true cost of living.  

We have also urged ministers to consider piloting Department for Work & Pensions devolution to give localities more autonomy to support their socio-economically disadvantaged residents.  

We’ve presented our Money Matters programme to senior politicians in the Department for Education and suggested that alongside the government’s commitment to breakfast clubs for all primary-aged children, a debt and benefits advice offer should be made available to families struggling with household finances.  

We know that a strategic approach to resolving poverty is essential in order that practical and policy solutions may be realised, and we’re proud of our proven track record in working with localities, both in Greater Manchester and beyond, on creating the architecture needed for joined-up action on poverty. We’ve offered our support to the government to share our expertise in the role of localities in resolving poverty and our perspective on how best the Labour government can support local efforts to resolve poverty across the country.  

The Labour Party was elected on a manifesto commitment to “develop an ambitious strategy to reduce child poverty”. We’re ready to work with the government to ensure this commitment becomes a reality.

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This article is featured in our 10 July newsletter.

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