Everyone says it’s ruining people’s lives, and vulnerable shops and hospitality businesses in dire straits are in desperate need of help. Campaigners also want Boris Johnson’s successor to ensure pensions, benefits and wages keep pace with rising prices so people can “thrive, not just survive”.
As prices continue to rise, Sabine Goodwin, co-ordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network, was among those calling on the next occupant of No 10 to ensure those most at risk are not left behind.
She said: “We hope to see urgent and much-needed changes to bring social security benefits as well as wages in line with the rising cost of living. Food welfare is not the answer to the rapidly worsening poverty crisis.” Gemma Hope, head of policy at Leonard Cheshire, a charity that helps disabled people live independently,
Sabina added: “The management may change, but the problems remain the same. Cost-of-living pressures for people with disabilities are reaching crisis levels.
“First of all, the next prime minister must urgently increase the benefits in line with inflation because the current crisis is forcing disabled people to live in hardship as their incomes are reduced.
“This question cannot wait. As well as the issue of rising fuel prices.”
Denis Reid, director of SilverVoices, fears the new prime minister will promise to cut income tax to woo the party faithful, which will hit public services.
His over-60s campaign group is calling for a new deal for older people with a minimum state pension of £200 a week for everyone, regardless of contributions. This was advocated in the Daily Express last week.
Mr Reid added that it was also important that health and social care services were not harmed by any tax cut promises the new prime minister might make to get elected.
He added: “There are hundreds of thousands of people who are not receiving social care at home. They’re in hospital beds because they can’t get social care at home, so they’re bouncing from accident and emergency, emergency services and everything else. otherwise.”
And Age UK director Caroline Abrahams said: “We would like the new Prime Minister to quickly confirm the return of the state pension triple lock next year, remove the threat looming over free prescriptions for 60-65-year-olds, and urgently looking at what can be done to improve the quality and availability of social care in the short and medium term.’
The charity also wants easier access to GPs. Pubs, restaurants and shops have also called for urgent help to offset the impact of bills on customers’ pockets. Andrew Goodacre, of the British Association of Independent Retailers, said: “Businesses need certainty and a clear strategy to manage the economy in this difficult economic period.
Goodwin “To improve footfall, we need fiscal intervention to boost consumer confidence – lower taxes, direct action to lower energy costs and address the pressure points that make consumers feel worse.”
Emma McClurkin, of the British Beer and Pub Association, added: “Our sector remains on a knife’s edge, with only one in three businesses making a profit. We need urgent help to stop rising costs and address the staffing crisis.’
And Kate Nicholls of Hospitality UK said: “We need a clear plan that addresses the cost of doing business, supports investment and consumer spending. The government needs to cut business taxes to encourage investment and growth.”