Universal Credit cuts will come as ‘a shock’

Wed,25 August 2021
News Benefits

Government has failed to properly prepare two million low-income families for October’s £20-a-week cut in Universal Credit, according to leading poverty charities and the Labour party.

Save the Children, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Turn2Us, Trussell Trust, Citizens Advice and the Labour Party have all raised concerns about the £90 per month reduction, with surveys showing that between a fifth and a third of claimants had no awareness that the cut is coming. Letters have not been sent to claimants, with the Government relying on texts and messages in claimants’ online journals to get through instead.

Citizens Advice has also highlighted high levels of anxiety among clients over how they will cope with the loss of income, with half a million people expected to be pushed below the poverty line. Six million people claim the benefit.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Jonathan Reynolds, said: “It is shameful that ahead of the biggest overnight cut to social security in decades, affecting millions of people, the government still has not effectively communicated with those in receipt of Universal Credit.

“Inflicting this devastating cut is bad enough but to fail to prepare families for it is adding insult to injury. Perhaps the government are simply too ashamed to own up to their actions. It’s not too late for the prime minister to see sense, cancel his cut and back struggling families.”

DR UK’s Fazilet Hadi said: “These cuts will hit Disabled people hard. Around 800,000 Disabled people are on Universal Credit. We have campaigned with hundreds of other charities to try to persuade the Government to keep the uplift to these benefits, and to extend the uplift to almost two million Disabled people on legacy benefits.

“This money is the difference between people eating and going hungry. The loss of it is a mighty thunderclap in a perfect storm of fast rising property and rental prices, increased fuel prices, and increased food prices. And yet still the Government won’t listen, instead showing callous disregard for those who live near or beneath the poverty line.”