Liverpool to host ‘cost of living’ summit

Academics, politicians and third sector representatives will meet in Liverpool this month to discuss the cost of living crisis. Tony McDonough reports

Debt, stress, anxiety, worry, couple, argument
People across the UK are struggling to make ends meet


A major conference will be held in Liverpool later this month that will bring together leaders from multiple sectors to discuss the cost of living crisis.

Rethinking Poverty, Insecurity and the Cost of Living Crisis in the North West and Beyond has been organised by Dr Natalija Atas and Dr Vicky Dabrowski. Both are lecturers in Liverpool Hope University’s School of Social Science.

It will take place on Wednesday, June 28 at Hope University’s Creative Campus in Shaw street in the city centre. Senior representatives from academia, politics and the third sector will all discuss possible solutions to poverty across the UK.

COVID-19 was a setback for the UK economy and no sooner had it started to recover, the  cost of living started to soar. A big factor has been the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has pushed up energy costs which in turn has raised prices across the board.

In April headline inflation finally came down from 10.1% to 8.7%. However, food inflation is running at 15.4%. This, coupled with rising rent and mortgage costs, is making it increasingly hard for millions of people to make ends meet.

Hope’s conference will examine the impact of the cost of living crisis and explore anti-poverty strategies, alternative responses to poverty and how change can be made via community action.

Its aim is to create a knowledge exchange and social partnership platform that will generate innovative and progressive regional and national social policy to eradicate poverty.

The conference will have a specific focus on the experiences of people living in the North West, which has been historically and systematically underfunded.

Conference co-organiser and Liverpool Hope University Lecturer in Social Sciences, Dr Natalija Atas, said: Over the last few decades people of Liverpool demonstrated extraordinary resilience and resourcefulness.

“Now it is time to seek a collective solution and focus on helping the most disadvantaged and marginalised groups.

“It is time to stop normalising and accepting the existence of poverty. No one should experience poverty in one of the richest countries in the world. Let’s start real change here, in Liverpool.”

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More than 20 organisations will feature at the conference, including Unity in Poverty Action, Feeding Liverpool, Liverpool Homeless Football Club, the Life Rooms, Save the Children UK, Marie Curie, Kids Bank Chester, Newcastle City Council and Greater Manchester Poverty Group. Speakers will include:

  • Claire Donovan, head of policy, research and campaigns, End Furniture Poverty.
  • Heather Jessop chief executive, Citizens Advice Liverpool.
  • Professor Kate Pickett, professor of Epidemiology, University of York.
  • Cllr Liam Robinson, leader of Liverpool City Council.

Cllr Robinson added: :The cost of living crisis is causing real significant problems for individuals and families right across the city of Liverpool and beyond into the wider North West.

“I am really pleased to be taking part in this conference to look at the practical ways we can try to address these issues for our residents.”

Click here for more information about the event or to book a place.

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