No Jam or Justice in the autumn statement

The incomes of the poorest are hardest hit – by far – whilst the wealthy escape scot free. 

This week’s autumn statement announced further years of pain ahead, as the economy adjusts to the likely impact of Brexit.  An economic policy grounded in social justice might have sought to place the greatest burden on those most able to bear it.  But, yet again, it is the poorest who are being called on to shoulder the greatest pain. Continue reading

Taxing times and Panamanian papers

The Panama Papers have caused quite a stir. A huge leak has lifted the lid on how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth. The files were leaked from one of the world’s most secretive law firm in Panama. Great investigate journalism makes for uncomfortable reading. And, as Channel 4 News presenter John Snow reminds us, the UK “actually harbours the largest tax avoidance havens in the world…. I think the ordinary punter is only just beginning to discover about tax avoidance’.

Church leaders

‘Tax dodging hurts the poor’ : The key message from Church Action on Poverty and Christian Aid’s Tax Justice Bus tour in 2013

Continue reading

Who should bear the burden of austerity?

What does it mean to be One Nation? In an age of austerity, what does it mean to say “We are all in this together?” To what extent should Government protect the poorest and weakest from further cuts to benefits? Iain Duncan Smith’s shock resignation from the Government last week has put these questions into sharp relief.

Call on the Chancellor to rethink tax cuts for the wealthy!

This week, MPs are debating the budget and considering a serious rethink. If we act fast, we can get them to drop unfair tax cuts for the wealthy, rather than finding new ways to cut benefits for the poorest. Please use our simple e-action to contact your MP here

manchester-students-food-bank-crisis-189-body-image-1423061079

Continue reading

Names not numbers

What is it like to live in poverty? No, what is it really like to live in poverty? How does it feel? What does it do to your sense of dignity and self-worth? How does it feel when you can’t afford the school uniform? What does it do to you to be treated as a number not a person?

PTC-2016-report-cover

These are some of the questions explored by the Scottish Poverty Truth Commission, whose latest report, ‘Names not numbers’ was published last month. A Poverty Truth Commission is radical in its simplicity, and simple in its message:’Nothing about us without us is for us.’

A group of people – some with firsthand experience of living with poverty and others with positions of power and influence in politics, public service and the arts, who met together regularly and on an equal basis over 18 months. The process involved learning what it means to listen deeply and having the courage to speak out. The stories heard and shared are powerful in the way they change those involved.

Continue reading

Fairforyou: An affordable alternative to Brighthouse

Today sees the launch of Fairforyou – a new not-for-profit lending company, offering furniture and white goods at vastly cheaper prices than Brighthouse and other existing high cost lenders.

According to our independent cost comparison below, buying a Hotpoint fridge freezer will cost £584 from Fairforyou, compared with £1,326 from Brighthouse – an astonishing total cost saving of £742.

best buys FEB 2016

Fair for You aims to provide transparent and affordable credit for essential household items to families who do not have access to mainstream finance.  Established in 2015, Fair for You has carried out extensive market research among lower income households to develop affordable, flexible and responsible credit to meet their needs. Importantly, loans can be repaid early, with no penalty; customers are encouraged to overpay, which many do; and there are no added fees for missed payments. If Fair for You’s credit checks show affordability is an issue, applicants are encouraged to seek debt advice. Continue reading