Universal Credit claimants being pushed to use foodbanks, according to new survey

People who claim Universal Credit are being forced to use foodbanks and some are being evicted from their homes because they are being pushed further in to debt, according to a new study.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 30th November 2018, 9:05 am
Updated Friday, 30th November 2018, 10:10 am

More than three quarters of respondents in a survey by of over 1,000 Universal Credit (UC) claimants said they had been put into debt, or pushed further into debt, because of the benefit.

Of those who answered the survey, by Unite the Union, 60 per cent said that they had been pushed into housing cost problems and some said they had to use foodbanks.

In response to the figures, there will be national day of action against UC tomorrow, including events in Doncaster, Halifax, Sheffield and Wakefield.

Unite regional campaigner, Ryan Case said: 'Universal Credit is causing misery and suffering as the survey results clearly show.

'Despite knowing this, the government is still intent on ploughing ahead regardless, while claimants are descending into debt, relying on food banks and getting into rent arrears and in some cases being evicted from their homes.

'Access to the benefit has been devised for the benefit of administrators not the recipients of Universal Credit. 

'The damage done by forcing people into debt, far from helping people into work, as the government claims, is driving people away from the job market as spiralling debt impacts on people's mental and physical wellbeing.

 'As we head into winter, many claimants cannot afford warm clothing for themselves or their children and don't have enough money to heat their homes.

'It will be a very bleak Christmas for thousands of families who are being abandoned by this government.'

During six weeks of October and November 1,141 people from across the country responded to the survey.

The first day of national action will be held in Halifax outside Wilko, 2 Southgate, Halifax, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

The second event will be held in Doncaster outside Clock Corner, St Sepulchre Gate, from 12.30pm and 1.30pm.

The third event will be held at The Moor, 108 The Moor, from 11.00am to 1.00pm. The fourth event will be held outside Wakefield Cathedral, by the steps, from 11am to 2pm.