NEAR half of people with universal credit – the equivalent of nearly 3 million applicants – believe they will not be able to live on a lower family budget, according to a new survey.
Research, conducted by the charity Save the Children, showed that 47% of those currently receiving the benefit expressed concern over plans to remove the £ 20 per week increase.
In October, the UK government plans to reduce the increase in payments in place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the survey of Universal Credit beneficiaries shows that this will put significant pressure on family budgets.
In addition to half of people who don’t expect to be able to afford the loss, an additional 18% say they don’t know if they will be able to handle the loss.
Single parents are the most concerned about their finances, with more than half (52%) saying they don’t think they can live on £ 20 less a week.
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Explaining his intention to proceed with the cut, Chancellor Rishi Sunak stressed the need for higher paying jobs.
However, the Keep the Lifeline campaign highlighted that two in five people with universal credit are already working but still at risk of falling into poverty and misery.
Dan Paskins, UK Impact Director at Save the Children, said: “The £ 20 increase is a lifeline for families. The people we work with tell us that they rely on her to buy essentials like food and clothes for themselves and their children. .
“Without it, hundreds of thousands more people will fall into poverty. That is why we are calling on the UK government to drop its plan to cut universal credit this fall.
“Across political lines, a growing number of voices agree that our social safety net must be strong enough to catch people when they need it most.
“This is a test of the UK government’s upgrade program. Ministers should help families and communities rebuild, not leave them adrift. ”
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Gemma, a single mom working part-time with Poppy, three, said: ‘Before the £ 20 a week increase I had to budget but the money just wasn’t going up to my bills. .
“So for me £ 20 a week is a lifeline. He buys Poppy’s packed lunches and her food for the week.
“To take that away from people, families, including myself and Poppy, are really going to struggle and go back into debt.
“When that £ 20 increase is gone I’ll end up using my credit card to pay for things like fuel to get to work and at first it might be okay – but then you end up in this cycle. debt, and I can’t afford to start over.
‘The government says it is removing this £ 20 increase to encourage people to return to work, but a lot of people claiming universal credit are working and it’s just to supplement income due to low income or maybe just of a parent with only one future income. in.”