Open letter to the Prime Minister on benefit uprating

NSUN has today signed an open letter to the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, urging him to increase benefits in line with inflation. You can read an extract from the letter below and read the full letter here.

“Households on low incomes desperately need stability and certainty as they try to afford the essentials, pay their rent, and keep food on the table. Bringing forward the usual uprating of benefits by September’s inflation rate would support people most in need through a difficult winter, including those who are sick or disabled, caring for children or others, and those with low earnings or looking for work. It would also send a clear signal that your government is serious about prioritising the needs of the most vulnerable, as the Chancellor promised to last week.

Previous decisions not to go ahead with the normal uprating of benefits have left our social security safety net threadbare. Current benefit rates leave households unable to afford even the essentials, with debt, homelessness and foodbank use all on the rise long before this crisis hit. Failing to uprate with inflation would amount to the biggest permanent real-terms cut to the basic rate of benefits ever made in a single year. Even if uprating goes ahead as normal, the support our social security system provides will still be at historic lows. 

The cost of living crisis continues to intensify. Inflation is forecast to remain extremely high for many months to come. In the face of such economic uncertainty it is right that you provide households on low incomes with the reassurance they need and uprate benefits by inflation as soon as possible.”

At NSUN we believe that the disability benefit system is complex, punitive, and wholly inadequate. One-off support payments from the government do little to offset huge cost of living increases. Click here to read the Disability Benefits Consortium (of which NSUN is a member) briefing on uprating benefits, which also covers other actions such as ending the benefit cap and the sanctions and conditionality regime.