One in five people on Universal Credit (UC) say that they are ‘very likely’ to turn to a food bank when the current £20 uplift ends, according to a new survey.
New research conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Trussell Trust charity found 41% of people claiming Universal Credit fear they will be very likely to cut back on food for themselves if the planned cut goes ahead in April.
And 13% of parents surveyed think they would be very likely to cut back on food for their children, meaning they simply would not have enough money to cover the basics.
In addition, 20% of people on Universal said they would ‘very likely’ turn to a food bank for help with £20 less a week to spend.
The Trussell Trust has called on the government to keep the £20 weekly uplift to Universal Credit, which is due to end in April.
‘The £20 increase to Universal Credit introduced at the start of the pandemic has been vital in protecting tens of thousands of people from being swept into serious financial hardship,’ said trust chief executive, Emma Revie.
‘This survey reveals the shocking consequences of what lies ahead if this lifeline is cut in April. This isn’t right. No one should have to suffer the indignity of relying on emergency food.
‘It’s clear that action is needed to ensure our benefits system provides people with enough money to cover the essentials. That’s why we’re insisting the government turns this situation around. Keeping the £20 Universal Credit uplift, and extending it to legacy benefits, will provide an anchor from poverty for people who need it most,’ she added.
‘The government should continue to do the right thing and keep this lifeline. It is a crucial step in moving towards a hunger free future for the UK.’
Commenting on the report, Labour’s shadow works and pensions secretary, Jonathan Reynolds said: ‘It is completely wrong that parents are worrying if they can make ends meet and have enough to feed their kids because the government plan to cut their income by £1,000 a year.
‘The chancellor must offer certainty to families now and secure our economy by cancelling this cut.’
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