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Christian poverty charity calls for compassion as 8 million households to receive support payments

by Alex Collett
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Low-income households on benefits will receive £326 next month, as part of a £21 billion support package, to help with soaring bills, which was announced last month.

The money will hit their accounts on the 14th July and according to the Department for Work and Pensions, another £324 will hit their accounts in the autumn,

The government has said eight million households will start receiving cost-of-living payments.

Niall Cooper, Director for Church Action on Poverty, told Premier the payment is a step in the right direction, but there are still issues to address: “I think the payment next month is welcome, £326 will go some way, but I think in terms of the scale of the cost of living crisis, it's not going to fix the problem.

“For many low income households, particularly those that really haven't got any savings.

“There are some issues with it, though, one of which is that it's a flat rate.

“So a single household will get just as much as a family with three, four or five children.

“That obviously doesn't go as far, when you've got children, as it does if you're a single person, so that's something that needs to be looked at in the longer term.”

Cooper believes the most obvious thing the government can do is to increase benefits by something close to the rate of inflation.

Cooper also wants Christians to pray for people who may be struggling with the rising cost of bills, he said: “I think we just need to pray with compassion for people that are struggling now, for people that are struggling with those really impossible decisions about heating or eating.

“Coming up to the summer holidays, the pressures greater when schools are closed.

“There's no free school meals, how do people get through the summer?

“For some families who can’t even afford to give their children an ice cream? When the sun's out, and it's a nice day, a trip to the beach, a trip to the museum, even the cost of travel.

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