Letter to Political Party Leaders: When people are going without, it’s time to guarantee #OurEssentials.

Date Posted: Tuesday 25th April 2023

Date: 19 April 2023

Read more about the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s and Trussell Trust’s joint campaign here,.

To: UK political party leaders

When people are going without, it’s time to guarantee #OurEssentials.

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

Everyone’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 anyone.

Others will be facing longer-term challenges, such as single parents of young children who are only able to work part-time, or those living with long term disabilities or ill health.

Our social security system 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, utilities and vital household goods, with nine out of ten low-income households receiving Universal Credit going without one or more of these essentials.

This means that those facing shorter-term setbacks are too often spiralling into deeper hardship, making it harder for them to get back on their feet, and those already dealing with longer term challenges are experiencing impossible levels of ongoing hardship.

We can’t always deal with what life throws at us on our own, which is why we need to have a system in place that supports us all to afford the essentials. This means ensuring that the basic rate of Universal Credit must at least cover life’s essentials, with support never being pulled below that level.

Together, we’re calling on you to adopt the Essentials Guarantee.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation

The Trussell Trust

Action for Children
Advice UK
Age UK
Baptists Together
Bevan Foundation
British Association of Social Workers
British Liver Trust
Carers Trust
Carers UK
Carnegie UK
Centre for Mental Health
Centre for Progressive Policy
Chartered Institute of Housing
Citizens Advice
Citizens Advice Scotland
Children North East
Christians Against Poverty
Communities that Work
Debt Justice
Diabetes UK
End Furniture Poverty
Family Fund
Good Things Foundation
Greater Manchester Poverty Action
Green Alliance
Homeless Link
Human Rights Watch
Huntington’s Disease Association
Independent Food Aid Network
InKind Direct
Joint Public Issues Team
Karbon Homes
Kidney Care UK
Leonard Cheshire
Little Village
Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales
Macmillan Cancer Support
Marie Curie
Mental Health Foundation
Mental Health UK
Money Advice Trust
Motor Neurone Disease Association
MS Society
National AIDS Trust
National Association of Voluntary and Community Action
National Education Union
National Housing Federation
National Zakat Foundation
New Economics Foundation
North East Child Poverty Commission
Nourish Scotland
One Parent Families Scotland
Oxfam GB
Parkinson’s UK
Rethink Mental Illness
Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
Runnymede Trust
Save the Children
Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
Scottish Out of School Care Network
St Mungo’s
St Vincent de Paul Society (England & Wales)
The Big Issue
The Children’s Society
The Connection at St-Martin-in-the-Fields
The Equality Trust
The Food Foundation
The Hygiene Bank
The Methodist Church
The Mighty Creatives
The Poverty Alliance
The Poverty Truth Community
The Robertson Trust
The Salvation Army
The United Reformed Church
Trust for London
UK Community Foundations
Voluntary Organisations Disability Group
We Care Campaign
Women’s Budget Group
Women’s Regional Consortium (NI)
Women’s Support Network (NI)