This collective call to action is a response to a report written by Loughborough University Professor Donald Hirsch, which reveals a £1,600 gap between the support the government is currently offering to households and the anticipated rise in living costs for out of work couples with two children.

Across the nation, there are growing concerns about how the increase in inflation and energy prices will see millions of families across the UK struggling to cope this winter. 

On Sunday, 7 August, the former prime minister Gordon Brown along with 56 faith groups, charities and regional politicians came together to call on the government to take urgent action on the cost-of-living crisis.

The report assesses the extent to which cost-of-living measures announced in May will compensate for three blows experienced by millions of low-income families: cuts in Universal Credit, inadequate uprating of benefits with accelerating inflation in April and the further rise in the energy cap anticipated in October. It shows that the package of support measures falls well short of making up for these losses, especially as the energy cap is likely to rise by more than £800 in October, which was the figure used in these calculations. 


The Enough to Live campaign is urging the government to consider appropriate measures to bridge the shortfall in family finances, which is only anticipated to rise into the winter months. Some charities are calling for benefits to be uprated in line with inflation, and for debt deductions from Universal Credit to be paused. Churches across the UK are on the frontline and several member organisations have added their voice to this campaign.

Next steps

The cost-of-living crisis has and will continue to receive widespread media coverage, but little can be done and achieved whilst a Conservative leadership election is going on and parliament is on recess. As the nation waits for the new prime minister to be announced, it is important that the work of churches to support families facing financial hardship is recognised at regional and government level.

Danny Webster, director of advocacy for the Evangelical Alliance said: Churches across the UK are meeting essential needs in their community, they’ve been doing it for a long time and they’re going to keep on doing it. It’s not a fad or a gimmick, but a committed outworking of what it means to follow Jesus. The passionate commitment of Christians in communities should be a signal to politicians that action needs to be taken. This winter will see more and more facing bills they cannot pay. Practical action is vital but must not obscure the need for systemic change to ensure households are able to live.”

The report is based on figures drawn at the end of July 2022. With the anticipated announcement from OFGEM regarding the rise in the energy price cap, the figures presented in this report are only likely to rise, leaving families in a worse financial position.