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Universal Credit 'a disaster'

  • 11/09/2017

This article is over a year old

“I will have £20 to last me a month”

Lady on a bench looking stressed

The roll-out of Universal Credit continues to be criticised after it is revealed that claimants are increasingly falling into debt due to the flawed benefit.

New research from Citizens Advice reveals that a staggering 79% of Universal Credit claimants have priority debts such as rent arrears.

Families with no previous history of financial problems are being driven into debt, with 40% of households accumulating rent arrears as a consequence of claiming Universal Credit.

This puts claimants at increased risk of eviction, visits from bailiffs, being cut off from energy supplies and even prison.

Currently, four in 10 have to wait more than six weeks to receive their first payment, and six in 10 have to borrow money while they wait.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “The roll-out of Universal Credit is a disaster waiting to happen.”

Universal Credit replaces six existing means-tested benefits. However it is estimated to lead to an average income loss of £11.18 per week.

One claimant from the South East of England got in touch with us to say: “I am going to be in the position where after my rent is paid, I will have £20 to last me a month.”

Another claimant from the South West of England, said: “I’m claiming Universal Credit, but they haven’t paid me this month. I literally have no money and now I’m in arrears with my rent.”

If you are on Universal Credit and struggling, try the Turn2us Grants Search.


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