News: “To rebuild trust in our system, they need to deliver real change” The Poverty Alliance responds to the UK General Election outcome

Responding to the outcome of the UK general election Peter Kelly, Chief Executive of the Poverty Alliance, said:

“Going into this General Election, anti-poverty campaigners were clear whoever formed the next government would need to set a new path for the country, one that would deliver freedom from poverty, as well as security and opportunity for everyone. An overwhelming mandate has been given to the Labour Party to forge such a path, and to put compassion and justice at the heart of all they do.

“The new Prime Minister said he will establish a ‘mission driven’ government. If this commitment is to be made real, then action to address poverty and inequality must be prominent in the first steps of Keir Starmer’s Government.

“We welcome Labour’s commitment to creating a new child poverty strategy. After years where there has been no UK Government focus on preventing or reducing poverty, producing this strategy will be an important process. It is vital that those who know and understand the reality of poverty – people with direct experience of the issues, civil society organisations on the frontline, and public authorities – all play a part in shaping this approach.

“But it is what that strategy contains that will be the real test of this new Government’s ambition to address poverty.

“After more than a decade of cuts and damaging ‘reforms’, our social security system provides neither dignity nor security to those who need it. Any poverty strategy must address this by ending the unjust two-child limit, stopping the arbitrary benefit cap and increasing the value of support through an ‘Essentials Guarantee’. Changing our benefits system alone won’t end poverty on its own. We need to ensure that paid work provides a genuine route out of poverty. Fulfilling commitments to deliver fair work by improving pay and conditions will be a vital early task for the Government.

“We don’t underestimate the scale of the challenge the new Government faces in tackling the depth of poverty that has been allowed to develop in the UK. They will need to prioritise existing resources and find new sources of support if change is to be delivered.

“And whilst that change will be led by the new UK Government, it will require involvement and collaboration from across the public, private and voluntary sectors to be successful. Crucially the new Government will need to establish a new and positive working relationship with the Scottish Government if we are to make progress in addressing poverty here and across the UK.

“The mandate given to the Prime Minister is a clear one. But what is also clear is the evidence of the continued decline in trust in politicians and our political system. The decline in turnout should focus the minds of all new MPs. To rebuild trust in our system, they need to deliver real change, especially for those who have lost out over the last decade.”


Stay in the loop