Gordon Brown's call for emergency cost-of-living budget gets almost 50,000 backers

Almost 50,000 people have signed a petition backing former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s call for an emergency budget to tackle the cost-of-living crisis

Published

Gordon Brown called on the Government’s emergency response committee to come together to tackle the cost-of-living crisis this week.

The former Prime Minister issued a plea for “urgent measures” to cover further rises in fuel bills amid “millions standing on the edge of a financial precipice”.

He urged Boris Johnson to unite with Tory leadership hopefuls Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak to prepare and agree on an emergency budget – or face growing pressure to recall Parliament and force them to do so.

Mr Brown wrote: “With millions standing on the edge of a financial precipice, we call for urgent measures to cover the cost of a further £1000-plus rise in fuel bills on top of April’s already painful increases.

Gordon Brown called for urgent measures
Gordon Brown called for urgent measures
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are battling it out to take over as leader of the Conservative Party
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are battling it out to take over as leader of the Conservative Party

“The facts right now are grim: four in every five pensioners, four in every five single parents and four in every five large families face fuel poverty – that’s when their energy bills come to more than 10 percent of their weekly incomes.

“About 35 million people in 13.5 million households are under threat of fuel poverty in October – that’s an unprecedented 49.6 percent of the UK.”

In his piece for the Daily Record, he warned that if no action is taken ahead of a further price rise in January, the number of fuel poor in the UK could reach 39 million people in 15 million households.

Now, Campaign group 38 Degrees said that within 24 hours of going live, tens of thousands of people from across the UK had signed a petition backing Mr Brown's call.

The petition says: “The Government raised Universal Credit during the pandemic – providing a lifeline to millions – and with enough pressure, they could do it again.”

The Scot – who was Chancellor under Tony Blair before taking over as PM in 2007 – has been joined by metro mayors, anti-poverty groups, and faith leaders from across the country in demanding urgent Government action on Universal Credit and support for families.

Mr Brown said: “People are being asked to bear an unbearable burden of unpayable bills at a time when so many are under pressure.”

Ellie Gellard, Strategic Director at 38 Degrees, said: “The stories we’re hearing from people all over the country could come straight out of a Charles Dickens novel: kids going hungry, mums who are sick yet working three jobs to make ends meet, families facing freezing in their own homes.

“Now, with news that energy bills could ramp up to £4,000 next year, the panic felt by millions is only going to get worse.

“All while our Government is out of office on their summer holidays and the candidates vying to be our next PM are silent. For families on the edge, that silence is deafening.

“In a matter of hours, tens of thousands of members of the British public have backed Gordon Brown’s calls for an emergency budget – and a plan to bring down crippling bills and support families, immediately.”