Advertisement
Social Justice

More than 70,000 people sign Gordon Brown petition calling for emergency budget

Gordon Brown has teamed up with The Big Issue to call on the government to prevent a “poverty time bomb”.

A petition backing Gordon Brown’s calls for an emergency budget and uplift universal credit has reached 70,000 signatures and counting.

The former prime minister has teamed up with the Big Issue, poverty charities, Metro mayors, and faith groups to form an Anti-Poverty Coalition. The campaign is calling for immediate action from the current and next Tory leader as energy bills look set to hit almost £3,600 this October.

Writing in the Big Issue earlier this week, Brown predicted a rise in homelessness as the cost of living crisis deepens.

“Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunk and Liz Truss may not agree on much,” he wrote. “But this week the PM and the candidates that want to be PM must show prime ministerial mettle and return from holiday, park their hustings and come together to prepare an emergency and immediate fourth budget of the year to fill the gaps left by the first three.”

Brown has said only through an emergency budget could the government stop “millions of people going hungry and falling into poverty”.

“The government raised universal credit during the pandemic – providing a lifeline to millions – and with enough pressure, they could do it again,” the petition reads.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Brown has won praise for his campaign, with many noting the irony of a former PM calling for action while the current prime minister is on holiday.

“Time and tide wait for no one. Neither do crises. They don’t take holidays,” Brown wrote in The Guardian.

In his Big Issue article, he said over half of the UK’s population were “staring at fuel poverty in October”.

For families on the lowest income, more than half of their earnings  will be taken up by food and fuel costs.

“Martin Lewis and Gordon Brown are right. We need action now,” Labour MP Chris Bryant wrote on Twitter. “How on earth can a pensioner on the state pension possibly pay 50% of their income on gas and electric?”

Numerous other Labour MPs have also taken to Twitter to voice their support for Brown’s plan.

“As usual @GordonBrown offers clear-headed advice,” wrote Labour MP Olivia Blake on Twitter. “I believe government hasn’t grasped how serious the cost of living crisis is or how to tackle it.”

Martin Lewis has also joined the chorus demanding urgent action from Johnson, Sunak and Truss. He told Good Morning Britain the idea the government needed to wait until the new PM is in place to act was “complete bull”.

“The fact that there is internecine warfare between two candidates to lead that party does not stop the government doing anything,” he said. “Those two candidates could make an agreement of what is going to happen. The idea that they can’t do anything is wrong.”

As with any official petition, if 100,000 signatures are received, it must be looked into by a committee of MPs to consider whether it should be debated in Parliament.

You can sign the petition and demand an emergency budget here.

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Here's how to find a food bank near you
Food banks

Here's how to find a food bank near you

Here's when people will get the second cost of living payment
Winter Survival Guide

Here's when people will get the second cost of living payment

Food poverty in the UK: The causes, figures and solutions
Food poverty

Food poverty in the UK: The causes, figures and solutions

12 Black Britons everyone should know about
Social Justice

12 Black Britons everyone should know about

Most Popular

Read All
How much will the Queen's funeral cost?
1.

How much will the Queen's funeral cost?

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses
2.

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet
3.

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces
4.

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces

Sign up to the Big Issue Newsletter to receive your free digital edition. Featuring some of our favourite archive pieces from Letters to My Younger Self with Olivia Colman, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Terry Gilliam, Chuck D and Rod Stewart.