As the Trust continues to urge the Government to end the five week wait for Universal Credit (UC), their latest policy report reveals that the longer the new benefits system has been rolled out in an area, the more people are plunged into poverty.
In places where UC has been rolled out for at least a year, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network have seen a 30% increase in demand. This has jumped to 40% in areas where the system has been introduced for at least 18 months, rising again to 48% for areas with Universal Credit for at least two years.
Gingerbread is proud to join over 45 other organisations and 14,000 individuals to support their #5WeeksTooLong campaign. Universal Credit must be reformed to ensure financial security for families. We want to see a benefit system which is fit for purpose – one that is linked to financial and personal need, minimises sanctions, and genuinely makes work pay.
“We know that Universal Credit is failing single parents,” says Faye Goldman, Interim Director at Gingerbread.
“For most single parents already on UC, debt, housing insecurity and job uncertainty is the norm.
“We have repeatedly called upon the Government to end the five week wait. This delay in payment pushes already vulnerable families into hardship. This is particularly apparent for single parent families who are often already existing on a financial knife edge.
“Today’s report from the Trussell Trust brings the failings of Universal Credit into sharp focus and clearly shows the longer the new benefits system has been rolled out in an area, the more people are plunged into poverty. It is not acceptable that food banks and increasing levels debt are the norm for families in the UK in 2019.
“Things need to change and the Government needs to pay attention to the very real and very devastating effects of the failings of Universal Credit.”