Kidney Care UK signs open letter to PM about tackling financial hardship alongside hundreds of charities

Kidney Care UK has joined over 200 organisations in challenging the people most likely to be the next Prime Minister to put tackling financial hardship at the top of their agenda from day one.

People with kidney disease can face additional costs because of their health condition, for example having to pay for medications, higher energy costs and travel to multiple medical appointments. Having kidney disease can make it hard to stay in full time employment, so, for some, household budgets can be impossibly tight.

Research by Kidney Care UK has highlighted the financial stress felt by people with kidney disease and we have campaigned for better support for additional costs. It is unacceptable that, at a time when people can be struggling with their health, they have the additional worries of how they will fund their travel to dialysis or running medical equipment at home. Our campaigning has led to improvements, but we know the battle is not over and too many people simply do not have the money to afford the essentials.

That is why we have joined with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Trussell Trust, who are leading a campaign to ensure the UK’s social security system is fit for purpose and provides enough support for people to afford the basics.

The open letter to Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer has been placed in national newspapers and calls for the next UK government to tackle hardship and financial pressure head on.

The letter

Dear Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer,

We are writing to you as a diverse network of organisations united by our shared desire to see an end to poverty and hardship in the UK.

This general election is taking place against a backdrop of deep and growing hardship. Just last month (May), 7 million low-income households were forced to go without essentials like food, adequate clothing and basic toiletries, and over the past year, food banks in the Trussell Trust network distributed a record 3.1 million emergency food parcels. Most shockingly of all, almost 4 million people, including 1 million children, experienced destitution in 2022, more than double the rate from five years previously.

Such levels of hardship are unacceptable in the UK and cannot be allowed to continue. The public are deeply concerned about the situation and believe it is the UK Government’s responsibility to right this wrong. It is clear they want to see action and commitments to turn this situation around so that no one is forced to go without essentials or to need a food bank to survive.

Yet right now there is a stark lack of focus from either of you on how you intend to tackle these issues if elected as Prime Minister next month. Families facing such levels of hardship cannot wait for the promise of growth, nor should they have to, the UK is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and has the resources to act now. Failing to do so is a political choice.

Together, we call on you to urgently set out a plan to help provide immediate relief to families struggling with hardship, as well as commit to developing a serious and ambitious strategy to build a future where everyone can afford the essentials, and no one needs a food bank to survive.

Yours sincerely,

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Campaigning against unfair costs

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects people from socially deprived groups more than others and can put a major strain on personal finances.
More information about the financial burden of CKD