Income crisis is a worsening epidemic in the UK. Yet the government response has been at best inadequate, and in some cases counterproductive, for example the cuts to benefits and the roll out of universal credit.

In response, several short-term schemes and support services have been set-up, including by national and local government, third-sector organisations and private providers, to help those households in need. These services include provision for essentials such as fuel, food and travel.

The ‘Income Crisis’ Taskforce was formed to explore the extent to which measures to support those people in income crisis were providing effective assistance; whether any common principles could be identified that would drive better outcomes for those who might benefit from the schemes in future; and to suggest how this support could be standardised so that their needs are being properly met. This briefing provides a short summary of the taskforce’s findings. It finds that much of the support provided through the range of interventions is often inconsistent in meeting the needs of those households in income crisis.