Lived Experience Fair Remuneration Campaign
The Austerity Action Group (AAG) is currently campaigning for fair remuneration for those with lived experience.
Current government rules freeze many people out of contributing meaningfully to the development of public and charitable services. This includes people at the sharp end of government cuts to spending (often called austerity) – those with lived experience of relying on the help of charities and anyone who uses council services or is in education.
Tax rules and benefits regulations mean that it is difficult for charities, local government, universities, and other providers to pay people to give their honest opinions on the services they rely on. Payment for this expertise or advice is often referred to as remuneration.
As a nation we rely on public and charitable services and it is vital that they continue to be able to meet our needs – and part of that relies on contributions those with lived experience, and it is only right that they are remunerated for their contributions.
“The work of the Austerity Action Group is an important aspect to the campaigning work we do at SWU. There have always been complex difficulties for organisations to pay people with lived experiences for their time and expenses and who take part in co-production / participation activities without them losing out on their entitlement to benefits. The research highlights this and further interventions are required so not to penalise the very people who are needed to shape services and offer advice and participation.” John McGowan, General Secretary of the Social Workers Union (SWU)
Get involved in our campaign
Thank you for expressing an interest in helping the AAG’s campaign for fair remuneration for people with lived experience. We’re asking you to help our campaign in three ways:
Send a letter to your MP
Each MP represents the people living in their local area (called a constituency). It’s an MPs job to listen to the public and hearing from you will encourage MPs to take action and their support will, in turn, make our campaign more likely to succeed.
Find details of your MP online at https://www.writetothem.com/ and then use the online form this site provides to send your letter.
Alternatively, you can look up your MP’s contact details and send a physical letter: https://members.parliament.uk/members/commons
Click here for a template of a letter to write to your MP. If you see text bold and italicised, please make sure you delete this and replace it with something personalised before you send your email, letter, or social media post.
Send a letter to your local paper
If you know the name of your local paper, visit their website or pick up a copy and note the email address to send letters or news stories.
If you are not sure which is your local paper, there are lists of local papers online: http://www.localmediauk.org/A-Z-Newsbrands – all of them should provide a contact email address online.
Send your letter as an email, with the subject line: Letter for Publication – action on arcane tax rules needed now.
Please note, not all letters published in a paper are also published online, so look out for the next edition of the paper!
Click here for a sample letter to a local paper. If you see text bold and italicised, please make sure you delete this and replace it with something personalised before you send your email, letter, or social media post.
Send out social media content about the campaign
If you have personal social media accounts, please feel free to tweet or share a post using our hashtag #LivedExperienceFairRemuneration. Examples include:
I support the Austerity Action Group campaign #LivedExperienceFairRemuneration to change the rules so people living in challenging circumstances can have their say. Find out more about this issue: https://www.basw.co.uk/social-workers-union/lived-experience-fair-remune…
Other social media channels:
Many organisations such as charities, councils, and universities work with people with lived experience of issues such as poverty and homelessness to shape and improve their services. Best practice is that participants are paid for their expertise, but this often doesn’t happen due to arcane tax rules and complex benefits procedures.
Find out more about this issue from the #LivedExperienceFairRemuneration campaign
If you do write to your MP, you could also find out their Twitter address and post something along the lines of:
I’ve written to @MPTwitterHandle, calling for them to support the #LivedExperienceFairRemuneration campaign to change arcane tax rules stopping people from having their say on services they use.
If you do write to your local paper, you could also find out their Twitter address and post something along the lines of:
I’ve written to @NewspaperTwitterHandle, explaining what the #LivedExperienceFairRemuneration campaign hopes to achieve by changing arcane tax rules stopping people from having their say on services they use.
Please let us know how you get on. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org.