our Essentials

When over half of people receiving Universal Credit are unable to afford enough food, it's time to Guarantee our Essentials

We live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but hundreds of thousands of people here in the UK are going without the essentials we all need to get by. 

Anyone's circumstances can change. Losing your job, needing to care for a sick family member, breaking up with your partner - these are things that can happen to any of us. 

That's why Universal Credit should offer support to anyone in need of help, but right now, it's not providing enough to cover the cost of life's essentials, such as food, household bills or travel costs and more people than ever are being driven to food banks. 

Our latest research reveals the devastating consequences of the inadequacy of Universal Credit across the UK. It showed that 780,000 people claiming Universal Credit were forced to use a food bank between December 2023 and January 2024, and more than half ran out of food  and couldn’t afford more.  

These alarming numbers show that our social security system is failing to protect people from going without. The significant shortfall between people's essential living costs and the basic rate of Universal Credit is leaving people with no option but to seek support from a food bank. This simply isn't right. 

We're calling on all MPs to urge the UK government to introduce an Essentials Guarantee in our social security system so that, at a minimum, Universal Credit protects people from going without the essentials 

Together we can send a clear message to all MPs and ask for their support of the campaign. 

Please take action now.