Faith leaders call for 'bolder' government action on cost of living crisis

(Photo: Getty/iStock)

Politicians must take "bolder action" to address the structural causes of the cost of living crisis, a group of faith leaders has said. 

The call comes in an open letter signed by over 40 representatives of different faith communities, and include the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Baron Williams of Oystermouth, and the General Secretary of Churches Together in England (CTE), Bishop Mike Royal. 

The letter warns that millions face being unable to afford a decent standard of living.

It says that charity alone is not enough to fix the cost of living crisis and that political will and more support on energy and incomes are needed.

The faith leaders also call for a "moral re-evaluation" of the tax system that would see the wealthy pay higher taxes in order to fund the expansion of support for those in need. 

The open letter has been sent to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer ahead of the Spring Budget being presented by Jeremy Hunt on 15 March.

It has been coordinated by the Stop the Squeeze campaign, a coalition bringing together dozens of charities including Oxfam, Save the Children and Christians Against Poverty. 

"With a record number of billionaires, the UK has never been more comfortable for the extremely wealthy, while living standards for most people are sharply declining," the letter says. 

Bishop Royal said: "Our communities are doing all they can to support those struggling with the cost of living crisis, but charity alone can't fix structural economic problems like low incomes and a broken energy system.

"It's time for reforms of the tax system so that those with the broadest shoulders pay their fair share."