At 4in10, we are very much aware that our network members continue to fight every day to provide high quality, sustainable support to children and families who have been let down by services. Many families find that they are unable to secure a high enough income to meet their basic needs. Our network organisations are on the frontline trying to keep themselves afloat as they provide crucial intervention to children and their families impacted by poverty.  

While we are advocates for the sector and exist to support our members, we also are in the fight to end child poverty in London. The response from our local, city-wide and national government to the cost-of-living crisis must be preventative as well as reactive. So, we wanted to raise awareness of a campaign that we believe is a call for the longer term, systemic change our members and their support users require. 

Stop the Squeeze is a collaborative campaign working to create a coalition of civil society groups who ask for three clear demands that will benefit society as a whole and move the conversation away from a plaster approach to a robust social security system.

Supporters of Stop the Squeeze are calling on our leaders to provide an emergency package with the following three elements:  

  1. Guarantee of affordable, clean energy for everyone 
  2. Ensure everyone has access to a Living Income 
  3. Reform the tax system with higher taxes on wealth

The aim is to change the conversation in Westminster and the media to get more ambitious policies on the agenda and make real change possible in the longer term. The campaign is led by a core steering group of three organisations: the Economic Change Unit, Tax Justice UK, and the New Economics Foundation. It is supported by a coalition of civil society organisations such as Save the Children and Oxfam, trade unions, and grassroots groups. See here for the current list of supporting organisations. We are encouraging our members to consider supporting or engaging with this initiative and its three demands in whatever way they feel is appropriate.

There are many ways of going about meeting these demands, but the principal is that we move from language of scarcity and overwhelmingly competitive charitable fundraising that pits brilliant charities against one another to a collective, coordinated support system where the gaps are few and far between and the community and voluntary sector in London does not have to continually be in crisis response mode.

We will be co-hosting an event with Children England on 13th December to encourage our members to learn more about why this could be a beneficial campaign to engage with. Crucially, this event will also highlight why we need a longer-term vision for economic change. We will offer some practical tools for members in the children and poverty sector who aren’t economists, but want to challenge short term, zero-sum approaches to government investment. Even if you’re not ready to join the Stop the Squeeze campaign, this event will provide resources to help you advocate for change, whether local or national. 

4in10 believes that Stop the Squeeze is an impactful way of using the expertise of economists to hold government to account at all levels in London to make our city a fairer, child-friendly community.  

Signing up doesn’t commit any organisations to any actions. But this is an opportunity to show support and engage in particular activities around the campaign’s aims, when it feels appropriate. The Government can and should deliver a response which addresses the long-term structural problems with the economy which underpin this cost-of-living crisis, rather than just offering sticking-plaster solutions.  

We understand that you’re not economic experts, we’re not either. But we do believe that the economic system can be made to better support children and families. Child Poverty can be eradicated from London, but we need to work collectively to ensure we build a more equitable city that is inclusive with a security system that supports everyone, especially when they need it most. 

 For more details and information on how to sign up, go to Stop the Squeeze -A Real Plan for an Affordable Britain. 

To book onto our upcoming event, jointly run with Children England, please follow this link.