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Unlock billions in private investment to help fight poverty, next UK government told

Big Issue Invest, Big Society Capital and 34 other organisations have called for a series of urgent actions in a letter first published in the Financial Times today

Money Illustration: Hermin Utomo / Alamy Stock Photo

More than 35 investors are calling for the next government to direct billions of private investment into driving growth and eliminating poverty across the UK.

In a letter published in the Financial Times today (5 April), Big Issue Invest, Big Society Capital and 34 fellow organisations have detailed urgent actions that they hope will give private investors more ways to use their capital for national good.

The letters asks for the government to launch growth funds on both a national and local scale – a national growth fund to boost the UK’s overall prosperity, and a local growth fund to attract private investment into the growth opportunities identified by UK communities.

It also proposes the introduction of incentives which encourage investment in long-term sustainable and inclusive growth, and suggests a Financial Inclusion Taskforce should be set up to improve financial inclusion and access to fair banking.

The organisations want the next government to spend smarter to mobilise private investment for more cost-effective delivery of public services – for example, to reduce NHS waiting times.

The measures proposed could mobilise up to £50bn of new private investment into driving growth in the first decade of a new government – increasing opportunity and tackling poverty.

Implementing these measures would not only grow the economy and save taxpayers money but would also benefit communities in multiple ways. This creates thousands of jobs where they are needed, preventing thousands of children going into care, and helping hundreds of thousands of people at risk of developing long-term health conditions.

Nigel Kershaw, chair of the Big Issue Group and co-founder of Big Issue Invest: “There are currently more than 13 million people living in poverty, one in five of the UK population. Of these, nearly four million are classed as ‘destitute,’ meaning they do not have access to basics like shelter, food, clothing or toiletries.

“It is time for our next government to focus on prevention, in order to remedy this unacceptable and worsening situation through more private as well as public investment.”

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