The number of people on Universal Credit has nearly doubled since March. With DWP figures due for release figures which could see this milestone breached
Citizens Advice which has supported three people every minute with advice on Universal Credit since the start of the pandemic has warned that a cut to Universal Credit would hurt working families. Around 40% of the people Citizens Advice has helped with Universal Credit issues were in work or self-employed.
Alistair Cromwell, Acting Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said “In just a few weeks, millions of people face the prospect of a £20-a-week cut to their benefits. This loss could spell financial turmoil, with increased debt and hardship for many families who are already struggling.”
“The Chancellor has a crucial opportunity to intervene at the upcoming budget. With unemployment set to rise further, we urge the government to maintain this lifeline for at least a year.”
Maggie Bonser, an Adviser at Citizens Advice Rotherham, said “We’re having to let people know that their benefits might drop by £20-a-week in April. For someone already struggling, that’s catastrophic. They simply have no wiggle room in their budget.”
“Many want to work but are coming up against a brick wall because there are no jobs. Others are working but are on reduced or variable hours. A cut to their benefits would mean missed bills, rent arrears and tough choices between putting the heating on and eating.”