The government’s Autumn Statement will push more people into poverty and onto the streets, Big Issue founder Lord John Bird has warned.
Jeremy Hunt’s budget centred around £55bn in tax rises and spending cuts in a bid to “balance the nation’s books”.
But Lord Bird warned that a return to austerity would destroy opportunity and pass the burden onto future generations, saying: “I am deeply concerned by the Chancellor’s statement today, the policies announced will only serve to push even more people into poverty and worse, onto the streets. We break the cycle of poverty and injustice now, not perpetuate it.
“The economic policies of the last ten years have failed our country. We currently have 14 million people living in poverty, and one in three children living in poverty, with many more facing being plunged into need.”
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Rents for social housing tenants will increase by 7 per cent, and the national living wage will increase to £10.42, Hunt said. Benefits and state pensions will rise in line with inflation, by 10.1 per cent. While these were billed as keeping in line with inflation, new figures released by the Office for National Statistics released yesterday found inflation for food was as high as 16 per cent and energy bills at more than 25 per cent, both of which hit poorer households harder.