With Political Will, There is a Way - our June update

3 June 2020

Thank you, thank you

We are really excited that the Rev Paul Legacy Fund hit its target of £10,000 and then another £10,000 was added from the Broackes family trust for which we are so grateful. These funds will be split equally between the two organisations that Rev Paul founded Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K) and Taxpayers against Poverty. 10th May would have been Paul’s 88th birthday. This will enable us to finance our programme of action.


New beginning

Like a lot of campaigning groups in this extraordinary time, Taxpayers Against Poverty is reviewing our approach as to how we achieve justice for the homeless, those on low incomes and those with increased financial insecurity. There are reasons to be optimistic that the current pandemic may be a catalyst for change and that we now have a huge opportunity to change the way we live our lives, caring about our fellow human beings and protecting and enhancing our planet, this is our only home. It is encouraging that some politicians are implementing policies which they would otherwise be ideologically opposed to, and that there is focus on solutions which hopefully will be for the public benefit and a fairer society. Our sister organisation Compassion in Politics is working to put compassion, inclusion, and cooperation at the heart of politics. More at www.compassioninpolitics.com


We now know the important jobs!

The health crisis has made more people realise that many of those on low wages are actually the backbone of the country and without whose efforts we would not be able to survive. So, it is clearly time to realise that the wages for low earning vital workers should be higher. There are still 5 million people on wages lower than the level recommended by the Living Wage Foundation. It was TAP’s founder, Rev Paul Nicolson that first commissioned comprehensive research into minimum income standards in the late 90’s which went on to become the basis of the Real Living Wage. Hear Paul’s story on a series of three podcasts called Hungry, Homeless, Powerless on Spotify, Apple and other podcast providers. For more at http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/about/Rev-Paul-Nicolson


Campaign ramp up

The focus for Taxpayers Against Poverty campaign will continue to be the two areas that the Rev Paul outlines in the moral case campaign namely truly affordable housing and adequate minimum incomes plus an emphasis on health and well-being for all.


TAP’s plan is to focus on influencing change at “the top” with support of those at “the bottom” and those in between. Our Elimination of Homeless bill has drawn some good support and this will continue to be a focus for our campaigning.


In addition, we are considering proposing legislation on minimum income standards bill similar to our Elimination of Homelessness Bill, or some other public policy interventions - more on that soon.


With Political will, there is a way

In this time of crisis, we have shown that when there is the political will, things happen even if we have been told time and time again that it is not possible. Take for instance street homeless (just a small percentage of the homeless - those in temporary or inadequate accommodation) being housed in empty hotels.  “We literally went from a target of ending rough sleeping by 2025 to doing it in a weekend,” says Matt Downie, policy director of Crisis. “If we can do it in a pandemic, why on earth can’t we do it in normal times?’