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Home  >  News  >  Poverty Increase Predicted by Christian Debt Charity

News

Poverty Increase Predicted by Christian Debt Charity

 

                                                                                                                          Thursday August 5 2021

 

DEBT help charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Scotland has predicted a sharp rise in debt and poverty when the £20 Universal Credit uplift is removed by the UK Government in October.

The charity has published a new report, Shipshape or sinking ship? which uses academic indicators to assess people’s financial and mental wellbeing. 

This report looks highlights the need to keep the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift to ease the financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the launch of the report, CAP Scotland’s National Director Emma Jackson said: “The easing of Covid-19 restrictions doesn’t mean an end to the impact it’s having on people’s personal finances. With all the challenges families across Scotland have been facing, many will be carrying forward the financial impact for years to come in the form of household debt.

“The UK Government is planning to make one of the biggest overnight cuts in history, by reducing Universal Credit and Tax Credit claimants' money by £20 a week and continuing to ignore those on legacy benefits.

“The Shipshape or sinking ship? report has found that the social security system is already a major driver of deficit budgets and lower wellbeing, and the UK Government is about to make the problem so much worse by cutting benefits like Universal Credit. Removing £20 a week from claimants at this stage is equivalent to destroying the lifeboats on a sinking ship, leaving those aboard desperately fighting for survival – we fully expect this action to result in a sharp rise in debt and poverty and undo the positive impact of the Scottish Child Payment for families with young children. 

She added: “We have so much to gain from giving people the resources they need to achieve high levels of wellbeing. High financial and mental wellbeing contribute to improving communities and help boost the economy. Helping people improve their wellbeing results in them feeling in control, confident and optimistic about the future. Which, in turn, leads to more jobseekers finding employment, more positive and active communities and a stronger economy in Scotland and the UK as a whole.”

CAP Scotland client, Ron, has been relying on Universal Credit since his decorating business collapsed. Ron relies on the money he receives from Universal Credit to make up the shortfall in his housing benefit and enable him to pay his rent:

“I only get £350 towards my rent, so the £20 is how I make up the shortfall. I have very little to live on. 

“Losing £20 a week would definitely have an impact. Once you budget for having that money, taking it away has consequences - less food, less fruit and veg.

“If you need to make cuts, Universal Credit is the wrong place to look. You won’t have faced my circumstances, but £20 means so much to people in my position.”

 

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