4.4 million households will be worse off from today – what support is available to people
GMB: Alastair Campbell grills Sunak over Universal Credit cut
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The Government says the £20 uplift was only ever supposed to be a temporary measure to help people survive the COVID-19 pandemic and now that we are coming out the other side, the focus should be on getting people back to work.
The government says the £20 uplift was only ever supposed to be a temporary measure to help people survive the COVID-19 pandemic and now that we are coming out the other side, the focus should be on getting people back to work.
Speaking to Sky news this morning, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said: “The emergency support we provided was because of the pandemic, as we come through the pandemic with youth unemployment going down, employment going up, we need to transition.
“We don’t want to see people reliant on the welfare trap, we want to, where it’s possible, come through this pandemic and see wages go up.”
However, until people get back into work or higher paid jobs it will mean they are forced to survive on £1,040 a year less.
As food banks said they are bracing themselves for an even higher demand for their services, Universal Credit claimants are being urged to check that they are receiving everything they are entitled to.
People can’t just turn up to a food bank – they need to be referred by their local council, Citizens Advice or a community organisation such as a school or charity.
Once they have been referred they can usually take home three days’ worth of food and can visit four times – although some trusts will bend these rules if they can.
Statistics from the Trussell Trust network of food banks shows that ‘tens of thousands of new people’ used a food bank for the first time during the last 18 months.
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The Trust’s Chief Executive Emma Revie said its figures showed the “shocking consequences of what lies ahead if this lifeline is cut in October.”
How much someone receives in Universal Credit is dependent on their circumstances, whether they are working and if they have children under 18.
The 4.4 million households who will see their payments drop at the same time as their living costs soar are being reminded to check that they are getting all the additional help with costs they are eligible for.
Many people on Universal Credit should qualify for free prescriptions, free internet and free school meals if they have children of school age, which could save them hundreds of pounds a year.
In addition they can also get £140 off their fuel bills if they apply for the Warm Homes Discount and money towards the cost of a new boiler and double glazing, to help them keep heating costs down.
A cap on water bills, free dental treatment and free eye tests are also available to most people who have no income, a low income or dependent children living at home.
And some families with school aged children are also entitled to free school meals, free transport to and from school as well as a reduction in childcare costs for pre-school kids.
In addition, families could also be entitled to Healthy Start vouchers enabling them to provide their children with a better, more balanced diet.
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Meanwhile, TalkTalk recently announced that it is working with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to offer free internet to jobseekers.
Virgin Media and BT already offer cut-price schemes, so if people aren’t yet signed up to an internet provider it’s worth looking into whether they can get it for free or at least cheaper.
Jobseekers can also get half price bus or rail fares, free or discounted gym membership and – if they can afford to save – £1,200 free cash on top of savings as part of the Government’s Help to Save scheme.
Homeowners may qualify for up to £10,000 to pay for a boiler or double glazing as part of the Green Homes Scheme and disabled people could get a grant of up to £30,000 to make changes at home whether they own or rent it, information can be found on gov.uk.
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