Millions on universal credit left cold, hungry and in debt – because the system is failing us

21 Feb 2024

The Trussell Trust is calling for universal credit to be increased to ensure that people don’t go hungry and cold because they cannot afford the essentials

Universal credit should protect people from tough times and provide a strong foundation for people to recover from setbacks and grasp new opportunities, but it’s clearly failing to do either.

Our new research has this week revealed the devastating consequences of the inadequacy of universal credit across the UK. More than half of those claiming universal credit aren’t even able to afford enough food, with 780,000 forced to access a food bank in the last month. Many people are unable to afford to use their oven or keep their house warm and 2.4 million have fallen into debt because they couldn’t keep up with essential bills.

When record numbers of people are being left with no option but to use a food bank, it’s clear that the systems that are supposed to be there to support us are not fit for purpose. Food banks do all they can to support people, but charities can’t pick up the slack of a broken security system.

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