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One in two will be unable to pay bills when Universal Credit is cut

  • 27/09/2022

Over half (52%) of people on Universal Credit (three million individuals) will struggle to pay their bills when the £20 cut to their Universal Credit payment comes into effect in nine days' time, according to new research by national poverty charity, Turn2us.   

Further to this, four in ten (42%) people (2.5 million individuals) will be unable to afford food, meaning many will be facing hard choices between heating and eating as winter approaches. This is now further exacerbated by surging energy prices, which could have a catastrophic impact on individuals and families across the country.

The charity is calling on the government to keep the £20 increase to Universal Credit and extend it to legacy benefits; and encourages anyone who is affected to get involved in the campaign by emailing their MP.  

Anna Stevenson, Welfare Benefit Specialist at Turn2us, comments:  

At the start of October, Universal Credit will be cut by £20 at the same time as other support schemes like furlough come to an end and energy prices rise. Ultimately this will push many people who are struggling to cover basic needs like food, rent and utility bills, over a financial cliff edge.  

“We know from our own data and insight, as well as our day-to-day work with people struggling to stay afloat, that this is a real cliff edge moment for thousands of people across the country. We urge anyone struggling with money to find out what other financial support they may be eligible for in the form of a grant - they can do this via our Grants Search tool on our website - as well as checking that their benefit entitlement is correct or whether they are eligible to receive help with bills such as council tax, water, or broadband.”

The research also found how a quarter (25%) of people are unable to afford rent or mortgage payments, equating to 1.5 million individuals, if the £20 is removed. And a staggering 15% of people on Universal Credit think it is likely they will lose their home in the next six months (900,000 people).  These findings show the potential impact of the government’s planned £20 cut to Universal Credit. It is clear that for many the financial aftershocks of the pandemic are not yet over with 29% of people on Universal Credit thinking it is likely they will lose their job in the next six months. 

Turn2us is a national charity that provides practical information and support to people who are struggling with money. The charity is committed to fighting income inequality and providing a lifeline for those facing financial hardship. Be a lifeline, donate now: turn2us.org.uk/cliffedge    

  • £10 can help two families get vital information and support via the Turn2us helpline   
  • £20 can enable a family to heat their home for a month   
  • £50 can help a struggling family put food on the table for a week