As a small network, our job at Joy in Enough is not to run campaigns on everything we’d like to see change, but to direct supporters to other campaigns that are making a difference. That has included campaigns on fair tax, Covid recovery, personal and collective action on climate change or divesting finance from plastics. Here’s another campaign that’s worth looking into and supporting: Stop the Squeeze.
Stop the Squeeze is organised by a coalition of over 40 charities that includes the New Economics Foundation, Possible, ECCR, Christians Against Poverty, Debt Justice and many others. They argue that while Britain is a wealthy enough country to provide for all its citizens, not everyone has what they need. Instead, the country is facing declining living standards and moving backwards on equality and opportunity.
The current cost of living crisis has highlighted underlying problems that are bigger than the events of 2022. Wages have flatlined, the social safety net that we used to depend on is full of holes. People struggle to pay their bills while big oil companies boast record profits. The economy is tilted towards those who already have more than enough, failing to share the wealth with those who need it most.
These are political decisions about how the economy should work. About who matters and who does not. “We face this scale of crisis because of decisions made by those in the driving seat of our economy. Successive governments have failed to prioritise the wellbeing, security and prosperity of ordinary people and build a balanced economy that benefits everyone.”
It’s a long road back from where we are, but the Stop the Squeeze campaign focuses on three big asks that have broad support among the public. They are:
- Affordable and clean energy – reforms to the energy market and investment in renewable energy could bring zero carbon energy to everyone, addressing energy poverty and climate emissions at the same time.
- A living income for all – a rise in the minimum wage, and reforms to social security that ensure nobody is left behind in a crisis.
- Higher wealth taxes – taxes should be rebalanced away from income and more towards wealth, ensuring that the highest earners pay a fair share.