Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown Demands Emergency Budget Before ‘Financial Time Bomb’

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown demanded that the government come up with an emergency budget before a “financial ticking time bomb” in October “brought millions over the edge” (Nicholas T Ansell/PA) (PA Wire)

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown demanded that the government come up with an emergency budget before a “financial ticking time bomb” in October “brought millions over the edge” (Nicholas T Ansell/PA) (PA Wire)

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has demanded that the government come up with an emergency budget before a “financial ticking time bomb” in October “brought millions over the edge”.

After a new report commissioned by Brown suggested government aid had not met the families’ needs, he said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss must agree to emergency measures “this week”.

Writing in The Observer, he said: “A financial ticking time bomb will explode for families in October, when a second round of fuel price hikes in six months will send shockwaves through every household and push millions over the edge.

“A few months ago, Jonathan Bradshaw and Antonia Keung of the University of York estimated that the 54% increase in fuel prices in April would leave 27 million people in 10 million families in poverty.

“Now 35 million people in 13 million households – an unprecedented 49.6% of the UK population – are under threat of October fuel shortages.”

Brown said that if a deal has not been worked out by Johnson, Sunak and Truss, then “Parliament should be convened to force them to do so.”

The former Labor Chancellor suggested that the country has reached a dangerous point, telling BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme: “I feel that we are at a time when many of the gains of the last 30 or 40 years have been lost, when people are being forced into extreme poverty in a way I never expected to happen again in my life.”

He lamented the “vacuum” created by the prime minister and chancellor being on vacation and candidates for the Conservative leadership being campaigning.

“At the heart of government, not enough thought is given to the great social crisis, the biggest problem we will face in the coming weeks.”

The new report, carried out by Professor Donald Hirsch of Loughborough University, found that support for low-income families has fallen short of making up for the losses they face amid the cost-of-living crisis, with some families as much as £1,600 worse a year.

The additional £1,200 offered to society’s poorest this year will not offset three big hits to their income from October 2021 to October 2022, the analysis suggests.

The loss of the £20 a week benefit increase, an annual increase out of line with inflation forecasts and a jump in the energy cap will mean that the worst off households cannot fill the gap.

Brown said that if a deal wasn't worked out by Johnson, Sunak and Truss, then

Brown said that if a deal wasn’t worked out by Johnson, Sunak and Truss, then “Parliament should be called back to force them to do it” (Andrew Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

That’s because flat-rate payments offered by the government don’t take into account the different sizes and needs of different families, he says.

A couple with three children is losing almost as much from rising prices as from last year’s cut in Universal Credit increases.

And the loss for an unemployed couple with two children is nearly £1,300, or £1,600 if higher inflation for worse off families is taken into account, according to the report.

This is based on a £800 rise in the energy price cap and will be higher as it goes up even higher.

A year-on-year increase in April 2022 of 3.1%, instead of the 9% that the Consumer Price Index had risen last year, will add to cost-of-living pressure, the analysis suggests.

The Food Foundation, one of the organizations that endorsed the report’s findings, described the findings as “alarming.”

Isabel Hughes, policy engagement manager at the charity, said: “There is now a very serious shortfall in supporting families who need it most. Urgent action is needed.

“That is why we have repeatedly called for extended access to free school meals for the millions of children living in poverty who are currently missing this vital safety net.

“Ensuring these children have access to a nutritious hot meal a day is the quickest way to prevent an epidemic of malnutrition that will otherwise undermine the education, health and future productivity prospects of a generation.”

We understand that people are struggling with rising prices, which is why we are taking action to protect the eight million most vulnerable British families through at least £1,200 in direct payments this year, with additional support for retirees and people. claiming disability benefits

government spokesperson

Meanwhile, Child Poverty Action Group and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation told The Independent that cost-of-living support needed to be doubled from £15bn to £30bn before winter.

A government spokesperson said: “We understand that people are struggling with rising prices, which is why we are taking action to protect the eight million most vulnerable British families through at least £1,200 in direct payments this year. year, with additional support for retirees and those claiming disabled benefits.

“Through our £37bn support package, we are also saving over £330 a year for the typical employee through a tax cut in July, allowing people at Universal Credit to keep £1,000 more than they earn and cutting the fuel tax by 5p, saving a typical family £100.”

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