Boris Johnson has been urged to protect all of society from poverty and end the five-week wait for Universal Credit.
The Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of food banks across the UK, has called on the new Prime Minister to commit to his promise of putting the poorest first.
“During the leadership campaign Boris Johnson told us ‘the poorest come first’. As our Prime Minister, he now has an opportunity to put those words into action and create a new vision for our country – one that unlocks people from poverty and protects us all from needing a food bank,” said Emma Revie, the Trussell Trust’s chief executive.
“Beyond Brexit, we have crucial choices to make about the kind of society we want to be,” she continued. “We must build a future that works for everyone – this means a benefits system that anchors people from being swept into poverty, work that is secure and fairly paid, and more affordable costs of living.”
Ms Revie insisted that one specific issue that needs addressing urgently is the five-week wait people must endure before they receive their first Universal Credit payment – a wait that is pushing some of the countries most vulnerable people into debt and poverty.
“In particular, we need Universal Credit to be the poverty-fighting reform that was intended,” said Ms Revie. “The most urgent problem to address is the five-week wait for Universal Credit. More and more people are being pushed to the doors of food banks while waiting for a first payment. Our new Prime Minister can change this by ending the wait. At the heart of any plan for our country’s future must be a commitment to protect all of us from poverty.”
Picture: Boris Johnson waves outside 10 Downing Street, London. (Dominic Lipinski/PA).