Politics

Charities warn of spike in foodbank demand if Universal Credit cut goes ahead

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Experts consider poverty will rise if the welfare lifeline is scrapped as deliberate

Campaigners worry a contemporary surge in starvation

Charities tonight issued a last-ditch plea to ministers to not strip £20-a-week from the poorest households.

Anti-poverty campaigners warned the Government’s plan to scrap the short-term rise to Universal Credit may gas contemporary demand for foodbanks.

Up to 6 million households face being robbed of the £1,040-a-year lifeline when the hike is axed subsequent month.

Feeding Britain, the Independent Food Aid Network, the Living Wage Foundation and York University produced a collection of briefing notes, seen by the Mirror, on welfare, jobs and starvation.

They name for the UC elevate, introduced at first of the coronavirus pandemic to assist hard-up households by the disaster, to be made everlasting and prolonged to disabled people who find themselves but to maneuver onto UC.








Families on UC face shedding the £1,040-a-year lifeline
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Getty Images/Tetra photographs RF)



“Doing so would allow disabled people on Employment Support Allowance – 75% of the 2.2 million ‘legacy benefit’ claimants – access to the ‘lifeline’ that has helped millions of people to afford basic essentials throughout the pandemic,” says one report.

But the research say that whereas the knock-on results of Covid-19 have made it harder for teams such because the self-employed and disabled folks to afford meals, many causes of starvation “stretch back more than a decade and can only be addressed by radical changes in Government policy”.

Researchers mentioned that from 2010 to 2020, households with not less than one disabled member and in receipt of UC or equal advantages suffered an actual phrases annual earnings cut of £624.







The £20-a-week cut looms subsequent month



In distinction, households the place no one was disabled and who didn’t obtain UC or equal advantages noticed an actual phrases rise of £728, in line with the research.

Experts feared that the £20-a-week cut would set off a contemporary surge in foodbank demand.

IFAN coordinator Sabine Goodwin mentioned: “Foodbanks cannot continue to take responsibility for the impact of a broken disability benefits system and insecure and inadequately-paid employment.

“As the upcoming cut to Universal Credit is set to push yet more people into poverty and food insecurity, it is more important than ever that the Government makes fundamental changes to the social security system and ensures that wages and working hours match the cost of living.”

York University analysis fellow Maddy Power, the IFAN’s co-chairwoman, warned that it was clear from “listening to people with direct experience of poverty and food insecurity” that “government cuts over the past decade” had inflicted “devastation for disabled people and those in low paid, insecure work”.








Foodbank demand rocketed in the course of the pandemic
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Manchester Evening News)



She added: “As we emerge from the pandemic, it is vital that we learn from people with direct experience of poverty in order to rectify a broken social security system and ensure financial security for all.”

Feeding Britain’s nationwide director Andrew Forsey mentioned: “While the pandemic has prompted the Government to repair a number of holes in our country’s safety net, these findings shine a bright light on the many holes that still exist.

“If we are to abolish hunger and eliminate the need for foodbanks, every last one of those holes needs to be repaired.”

He pointed to a series of Private Member’s Bills due before MPs in the coming months as ways to help families.

They include the Workers (Rights and Definitions) Bill; the Full Employment Bill, Disability Assessments (Recording) Bill; the Benefit Sanctions (Warnings) Bill; and the Social Security Benefits (Healthy Eating) Bill.








Experts worry rising poverty if the UC cut goes ahead
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Getty Images/iStockphoto)



Mr Forsey added: “The Bills being presented to Parliament on the back of these findings will offer the Prime Minister the tools he needs to achieve that objective.”

Speaking in Scotland as we speak, Boris Johnson signalled he plans to press ahead with the cut.

The Prime Minister mentioned: “What we need to do is transfer away from all of the Covid interventions, all the huge £407billion-worth of assist we have given to jobs, to households, to livelihoods throughout the UK.

“Getting people into work is the best route out of poverty. And one of the things we have done, across the whole of the UK, is to increase the Living Wage, of which I’m very proud, to £8.91 per hour.








Prime Minister Boris Johnson
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Getty photographs)



“What we’re also doing is using the massive firepower of the Treasury to help people into work – ReStart for the long-term unemployment, and other schemes.

“My view is it is a lot better to maneuver folks off welfare and into work.”

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds mentioned: “Taking £1,000 a year from hundreds of thousands of struggling households, inflicting the largest in a single day cut to social safety in fashionable occasions, is economically and morally the flawed choice. Yet once more this Government have proven they aren’t on the aspect of working folks.







Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds



“With record levels of in-work poverty, the Prime Minister is completely ignorant when he says this is a choice between work and social security.

“The Prime Minister must see sense, back struggling families and cancel this devastating cut.”

A Government spokesman mentioned: “Universal Credit has provided a vital safety net for six million people during the pandemic.

“The temporary uplift is part of a £400billion support package and has been extended beyond the ending of restrictions, as has our £429.1million Covid Local Support Grant introduced to support families with food costs.

“Our focus now is on our multi-billion pound Plan for Jobs, which will support people in the long-term by helping them learn new skills and increase their hours or find new work.”

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