Concerns have been raised about Universal Credit. There has been a huge rise in Universal Credit applications. As of the beginning of May the DWP have reported 1.8 million new UC claims since the start of the coronavirus crisis .There had been numerous concerns about the adequacy of UC before the coronavirus crisis, but many of these have now been exacerbated. Here are some of the concerns mentioned about Universal Credit:
I count the self-employed as low income because as yet they have no income and 5 week wait for universal credit. Money is an issue. And it sometimes goes with lack of advice regarding budgeting and coping.”
“One refugee friend survived on cleaning jobs, which all ended with lock-down. She has applied for Universal Credit, but at present has no income.”
“I am a Trustee with a Debt Advice organisation and we have had a steep increase in requests for help from people who have no money (some waiting for the UC first payment).”
“People have lost their jobs and an income to the household, some are unable to access UC as this takes into consideration household income – so will be without one income which they have previously relied upon to ‘keep afloat’.”
These findings come from the report ‘Gleanings: Listening and learning to poverty under lockdown’, produced by Church Action on Poverty and JPIT.