Universal Credit Recipients “Pushed Beyond Limits” As Benefits Cut

Universal Credit (UC) recipients described feeling “pushed beyond the limits” due to the impact of the cuts.

A £ 20 per week increase in the benefit that was introduced at the start of the coronavirus pandemic ended on Wednesday, leaving beneficiaries £ 1,040 worse per year.

Shona Louise, a freelance theater writer and photographer, said the cut would put pressure on her to cover the loss.

Shona Louise said she will have to “work beyond my limits” to make up for the cut (Shona Louise)

Ms. Louise, 24, told the PA news agency: “I am a self-employed worker while receiving universal credit and this helps bridge the gap created by my being unable to work full time due to of my disability.

“It’s just going to put more pressure on me to stretch to find more work… I’m already pushing myself to work beyond my limits as they are, but the cut will increase that pressure considerably.”

Ms Louise, from Hertfordshire, said the reduction comes as she still notices the impact of the pandemic on her ability to find self-employment.

She said: “I feel extremely nervous that this is happening now, as this pandemic is far from over.

“Life is not back to normal for everyone.

“I’ve found myself having to say yes to more in-person work before than I’m comfortable with, and this cut will only add to that.

“As a freelance I have noticed that there certainly isn’t as much work around, and it has also become even more unpredictable. The difference between good and bad months financially has increased.

“Even with the increase, universal credit is not enough to live on, and people deserve to do better than just scratch.

“While I don’t, for many families this reduction will mean choosing between feeding their families or heating their homes this winter… people’s mental health will be seriously affected. “

Stacey, who did not want to give her last name, started protesting in March 2020 and therefore did not experience CU without the temporary uprising.

The Bristol community worker told PA: “Ironically, part of my job is helping people access welfare counseling.

“People were under a lot of pressure and the key workers were really successful… I would love (the government) to hear that the very people they were encouraging the community to applaud for are the ones they are pushing into poverty.

“I feel anxious about how this will affect my family and also my community.

“I don’t know about the CPU before the ‘uplift’ so I’m losing £ 90 a month. It’s my gas and electricity bill.

A government spokesperson said: “We have always been clear that the increase in universal credit was temporary.

“It was designed to help claimants get through the economic shock and financial turmoil of the most difficult stages of the pandemic, and it did.

“Universal Credit will continue to provide vital support to those who have and do not have a job and it is right that the government focus on our plan for jobs, helping people get back to work and helping those who already have a job. job to progress and earn more. “

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