Social Justice

Big Issue Group launches campaign demanding long-term solutions to protect future generations and break the cycle of poverty

The campaign has three asks: create decent and affordable homes for all, end the low-wage economy and invest in young people, and build a greener economy and create millions of well-paid green jobs

Big Futures

Big Futures campaign is demanding a better future

The Big Issue Group has launched a campaign calling for affordable housing, the end of in-work poverty and millions of green jobs. 

The campaign, Big Futures, is backed by former prime minister Gordon Brown, activist and rapper Akala and the UK Metro Mayors, who have all signed an open letter demanding government action. 

There are more than 14.5 million people currently living in poverty in the UK, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. With this number expected to rise by a further 1.3 million by 2023, Big Futures is calling on the government to put a plan in place and break this cycle of crises and poverty for good. 

The campaign urges new decision-makers to deal with the root causes, to ensure that future generations don’t have to tackle the same issues we are facing today, or worse. 

Almost two thirds of young people fear for their generation’s future, The Prince’s Trust has found. The UK is facing a housing crisis, a low-wage economy and the climate crisis. Long-term prevention focused solutions are needed to protect the environmental, social, economic and cultural wellbeing of future generations. 

Your support changes lives. Find out how you can help us help more people by signing up for a subscription

The campaign has three asks: create decent and affordable homes for all, end the low-wage economy and invest in young people, and build a greener economy and create millions of well-paid green jobs. 

Lord Bird, founder of Big Issue Group and crossbench peer, said: “Young people and future generations deserve a fair shot at life. Together, we can build a better future. If you didn’t sign up to an uncertain future for all, sign up to our campaign and open letter today.”

There is a strategy. To create decent and affordable homes, the campaign asks the government to commit to building tens of thousands of more affordable homes each year. It also demands a reform to the planning legislation so that unused buildings must be used for residential purposes.

The campaign also champions renters rights – demanding rent caps, an end to unfair evictions and clearing rent arrears. It asks the government to introduce a housing first approach for people who are homeless and living with multiple needs, so everyone can access a stable home regardless of their circumstances. 

Get the latest news and insight into how the Big Issue magazine is made by signing up for the Inside Big Issue newsletter

Kwajo Tweneboa, housing campaigner, said: “With the rate of homelessness and hidden homelessness rising as well as the cost of rentals. Things are becoming more and more expensive. 

“There are over one million people on the waiting list for a social home and it’s growing at a faster rate than the government are building. Everyone deserves access to a safe home in this country. When housing collapses it’s social housing we will depend on. Let’s not wait for that disaster to happen and start treating affordable and social homes with the priority it deserves and has needed for decades.”

For an end to the low-wage economy, Big Futures is calling for a £15-an-hour minimum wage for all workers over the age of 18. It also asks that the government implement a Future Skills Scheme, upskilling and reskilling young people and members of the UK’s workforce who are in jobs that are vulnerable to disruption by crises or in currently left-behind communities.

And finally, Big Futures demands that the government commits to creating millions of well-paid, green jobs, by investing public money into green infrastructure and the care economy. There must be a transition to a green economy, which means supporting a net zero and resilient economy in a way that delivers fairness and tackles inequality and injustice.

Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the National Education Union, added: “The government needs to act to help families and children in the short term, but also put in place solutions that tackle the root causes of poverty. Decades of falling wages, underinvestment in housing and neglect of the environment are compounding the current crisis and must be addressed if we are to build a better future. Action must be taken to safeguard the future for the next generation.”

Show your support and demand a better future by signing our open letter to the government here.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Almost no recorded cases of disability benefit fraud despite DWP crackdown: 'PIP fraud is a non-issue'
dwp pip/ disabled person
Disability benefits

Almost no recorded cases of disability benefit fraud despite DWP crackdown: 'PIP fraud is a non-issue'

Deaf man awarded £50,000 after 'oppressive' and 'discriminatory' treatment by DWP
dwp jobcentre
Department for Work and Pensions

Deaf man awarded £50,000 after 'oppressive' and 'discriminatory' treatment by DWP

The UK used to be the most LGBTQ-friendly place in Europe. Now, it's not even close
LGBTQ+ rights

The UK used to be the most LGBTQ-friendly place in Europe. Now, it's not even close

'We're at breaking point': Food banks see record number of first-time users as demand soars
food bank
Food banks

'We're at breaking point': Food banks see record number of first-time users as demand soars

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know