A report has found that more support for low-income households to cover their losses during the cost-of-living crisis, with some families up to £1,600 a year worse off.
Analysis shows that the extra £1,200 offered to the poorest in society this year will fail to offset three big hits to their incomes between October 2021 and October 2022.
It says a loss of £20 a week in benefits, annual operating inflation-adjusted, and an increase in the energy cap will mean the worst-off families cannot cover the gap.
The report, commissioned by former prime minister Gordon Brown, said the largest families would suffer the most.
It is an urgent task for the next Prime Minister to ensure that families have enough to survive this crisis and beyond.
This is because the flat rate payments offered by the government fail to take into account the different sizes and needs of different households.
A couple with three children could lose almost as much again from price rises as they lost from last year’s Universal Credit uplift cuts, the report said.
And an out-of-work couple with two children loses around £1,300, or £1,600 if higher inflation is taken into account for worse-off households, according to the report.
This is based on an £800 increase in the energy price cap, and will increase as it rises further.
An annual increase of 3.1 percent in April 2022, rather than the 9 percent increase in the consumer price index last year, will add to cost-of-living pressures, the analysis showed.
In the introduction to the paper, Mr Brown called on the Government to take “urgent action” to close the gap.
“It is an urgent task for the next Prime Minister to ensure that families have enough to survive this crisis and beyond,” he said.
“I am grateful that this paper outlines the gap that the government must urgently fill before the next wave of rising costs overwhelms people.”
There is now a serious shortage of support for families who are most in need. Immediate action is required.
He added: “We have heard from the families we have met and who have highlighted in the report that the flat rate payments offered by the Government will not increase enough for families who Everyone has different needs and circumstances.
“These will be the people who prioritize the next prime minister as we find solutions.”
The report, by Professor Donald Hirsch at Loughborough University, has 56 signatories including charities, organizations and religious groups.
The Food Foundation, one of the organizations that endorsed the report’s findings, called the findings “alarming”.
Isabelle Hughes, policy engagement manager at the charity, said: “There is now a serious shortfall in support for families who are most in need. Urgent action is needed.
“This is why we have repeatedly called for the extension of free school meals to the millions of children living in poverty who currently lack this vital safety net.
“Ensuring these children have access to a nutritious hot meal every day is the fastest way to stop a malnutrition epidemic that will otherwise destroy a generation’s education, health and future productivity.
We understand that people are struggling with rising prices, which is why we have worked to protect eight million of the most vulnerable British families with direct payments of at least £1,200 this year, including Additional support is in place for pensioners and those claiming disability benefits.
“We hope that the incoming government will take Professor Harsh’s authoritative analysis seriously and understand the need for urgent intervention.”
A government spokesman said: “We understand that people are struggling with rising prices, which is why we have offered direct payments of at least £1,200 to eight million of Britain’s most vulnerable families this year. Work has been done to protect, with additional support for pensioners and claimants of disability benefits.
“We are also saving the average worker more than £330 a year through our £37 billion support package through tax cuts in July, allowing people on Universal Credit to keep £1,000 more of their earnings and A deduction of 5p is allowed for fuel duty.Normal family £100.