Universal Credit fury: Claimant breaks down as he details 'insulting' £27-a-month offer

A man from Greenwich has opened up about his devastating experience of being impacted financially by the coronavirus pandemic. Matt told LBC‘s Shelagh Fogarty that the Universal Credit social security scheme for those on a low income or out of work has been “an insult”. He said that he has even been unable to pay for food shopping every week for the last six months.

Matt said: “I work in advertising and the whole business came grinding to a halt in late February, early March.

“Not because of the way my limited company is structured, I pay myself what I now know are called dividends, but really it’s just accessing the money I’ve earned through my business.

“I don’t qualify for the same help that self-employed people do or indeed people that have set up a pay-as-you-earn scheme at their limited company.

“So I’ve received no Government support. I spoken to my accountant and asked them what I should do.”

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He continued: “It took them quite a long time to advise me just because there was no information out there.

“It was so unclear and everyone was so confused.

“Eventually they advised to apply for Universal Credit, and I went through that process and they offered me £27 a month.

“I don’t know what you can do with £27 a month. I mean I don’t want to swear on the radio, but it’s an insult.”

He added: “Now I’m just doing cash-in-hand painting and decorating just to make ends meet.

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“The impact on my financial situation has been huge. For six months I couldn’t pay for food shopping every week. What that does to a person’s self-esteem is really damaging.”

More than 5.6 million households in the UK rely on Universal Credit just to get by.

New research conducted by 38 Degrees reveals that there has been a 37 percent rise in applications since the beginning of the pandemic.

It also reveals that for more than four out of five (84 percent) Universal Credit payments are not enough to cover food, rent bills, or other living costs.



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