The data shows women will be hit hardest by cuts in Universal Credit, losing billions of pounds from their total annual income.
The government raised £20 a week during the pandemic to help families struggling in the wake of the economic fallout, but the raise will end by October.
Some 5.9 million people in the UK are currently receiving Universal Credit payments – 54 per cent of those claiming benefit payments as of August 2021 are women.
Exclusive data from a leading debt advice charity, viewed by Granthshala, shows that a third of new people seeking help in July 2021 were at Universal Credit – of whom nearly seven in 10 were women.
Stepchange said that six out of 10 women who claim Universal Credit who have used its debt advice service have their monthly income more than their monthly expenses.
But with the £20 Universal Credit rise ending, only three in 10 women who claim Universal Credit will be in a situation where their monthly income exceeds their monthly expenses.
Carly Newman, who has been on Universal Credit for two and a half years, reveals Granthshala He’s very concerned about the prospect of shedding 20 pounds.
The mother-in-law, who works for the head office of the Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “I didn’t even see it as extra income. When they first gave it to us, it was not a bonus.
“Universal credit was never enough in the first place. But the eyes were on Universal Credit as the middle class was suddenly claiming it.
The single parent, who has a three-year-old son, explained that she generally lives “pay day to pay day.” She said she didn’t have time to do extra work and would struggle to bear the cost of childcare that would require extra hours.
Single parents made up 22 per cent of people seeking help from Step Change last year, far higher than the proportion of single parents in the wider population, with single parents accounting for six per cent of UK households.
Some 90 percent of single parents are women – women are six times more likely to be single parents than men.
Ms Newman, 35, and who lives in south east London, said: “My rent has gone up. My nursery fees are rising, fuel prices are rising. My electricity bill is increasing. The reality is, how does someone in my situation get an extra £80 a month?
“When I have to buy a winter coat, new clothes for my son, a big store, I’ll probably put it on my credit card, because it feels safer than using the last money before I pay.
“Cutting down on universal debt is an extra burden, an extra worry, extra stress on top of everything else. What if I don’t get this money?”
Exclusive data from Gingerbread, the leading single parent charity, spotted by Granthshala, shows that a quarter of calls to their helpline since April were about Universal Credit. When Universal Credit regeneration is terminated, 1.1 million eligible single parent families will be affected, causing a total loss of over £1 billion over the next year.
When the Universal Credit boost is removed, six in 10 single-parent households will face a sudden cut in their income, and a quarter of all Universal Credit claimants are single parents.
Victoria Benson, CEO of Gingerbread Granthshala: “£20 per week doesn’t sound like a lot for most people, but £86 per month is a lot for a single parent. They are not using it for luxury. They are using it to feed their children. “
Ms Benson, who is a single mom herself, said removing the Universal Credit raise is the equivalent of picking up groceries for a week or two.
“People have to go to the food bank, people worry about turning on their heating, people won’t be able to afford new clothes or winter coats,” he said. “A woman told me she couldn’t pay for the kids’ classes and couldn’t even afford to board the bus to the park.”
Ms Benson said it is particularly concerning that the cuts in Universal Credit are ending up alongside a rise in food and fuel prices – adding that single parents have been disproportionately fired. He said it also clashes with the government’s trial and end of self-isolation grants and self-employment income support schemes.
“It’s a perfect storm,” Ms Benson said. “The level of concern has increased. People are feeling really desperate. The thing that worries them the most is taking care of their children. The helpline staff have found it really difficult. He has heard really harrowing stories. “
preachers told Granthshala Women outnumber men as Universal Credit recipients because they are more likely to be the main caregivers of children and other family members.
More women than men have claimed Universal Credit since June 2018, when the benefit was extended to include individuals who received the Child Tax Credit, usually claimed by women.
A young Lincoln woman, who did not wish to be named, said she feared she would lose food, bills and everything she needed “on a daily basis to survive” after losing a £20 raise each week. Will struggle to bear it.
“I spoke to a Conservative MP this week and asked: ‘What would you do if you lost six percent of your earnings every month? He said Granthshala.
The woman, who is affiliated with the Young Women’s Trust, a charity that helps women with little or no pay, was asking questions to Will Quins, a junior role in the Department of Work and Pensions.
She added: “The extra £20 has been such a lifeline. It helped us pay a little extra on our rent so we weren’t left behind. Once this money is gone it will be quite a struggle. What would we have to go without? “
The woman, who has been on Universal Credit since 2018, said the prospect of her getting a Universal cut is “terrible.”
“I can’t imagine what it would be like,” she said. “It’s affecting my sleep. This is something I am thinking about all the time. It’s really disappointing.”
The £20 Universal Credit raise was due to end in March 2021, but Rishi Sunak pressured him to extend it for another six months. A growing number of campaigners, Labor politicians and Conservative Party lawmakers are urging the chancellor to raise it again.
Citizen Advice estimates that the proposed cuts could put an estimated 2.3 million people in debt.
The total number of people claiming Universal Credit has nearly doubled since the pandemic hit. About 40 percent of people receiving Universal Credit are currently working – with benefits supplemented by the money they earn from their employer.
Stepchange’s Sue Anderson said: “We already know there are clear winners and losers from the pandemic, with single parents, who are also disproportionately female, one of the hardest-hit groups.”
Women are over-represented in low-wage, precarious work with zero-hour contracts – about 98 percent of workers taking home poverty wages in high-coronavirus risk jobs are women, with research from thinktank Autonomy.
a government spokesman said Granthshala Universal Credit’s elevation was “always temporary”. The Department for Work and Pensions representative said: “It was designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the most difficult phases of the pandemic, and it has done so.”
The spokesperson said Universal Credit will continue to provide “significant support” for people in and out of employment.
But Unite’s assistant secretary general Steve Turner said: “The chancellor is making a deliberate and cruel decision to punish the nation’s working poor of the six million people, more than a third of whom are already at work, overnight. Deep in poverty and debt.
“Many of them have done the right thing through the pandemic – in social care, in the NHS and as refuse collectors – and they are much more likely to come from this government than this attack on their already poverty-level incomes. are better.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /