Section: Welfare Benefits

Rent arrears 'much worse than feared' ahead of UK cost of living crisis

Posted 13.10.21
The Big Issue: Further reading

Hundreds of thousands of universal credit claimants were trapped in severe debt even before ministers cut payments by £87 per month.

The number of universal credit claimants at least two months behind on rent soared by 70% in the first half of this year, according to new analysis.

Official figures just published show around 190,000 people in England who receive universal credit were in severe rent arrears by May this year. This compares to just over 110,000 people at least two months late on rent payments as of December 2020.

This does not take into account people who have been behind on their rent for just one month or those who have fallen into arrears since May.

Between shrinking benefits, soaring energy bills and higher food costs, the real number of tenants unable to pay rent could now be higher.

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Cuts to benefits widely condemned

Posted 06.10.21

Everyone on Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit will see the pandemic cushioning uplift of £20 axed on October 6.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has defended the cut and argued that it was better for people to get more money by working harder than by relying on income that came from other taxpayers.

Concerns about the cuts have come from many quarters, some of which are touched on below.

Click the individual links to read more.

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Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF)

The Prime Minister is abandoning millions to hunger and hardship with his eyes wide open - The JRF issues a stark warning ahead of the £20 cut in Universal Credit.

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Chartered Institute of Housing

The Chartered Institute of Housing has called for the reinstatement of the £20-per-week Universal Credit uplift after the decision by the UK government to press ahead with the cut despite mounting financial pressures facing many households.

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The Conversation

The £20 cut to universal credit leaves families facing impossible decisions about how to get by at an incredibly difficult time.

The decision to go ahead with the cut represents a political choice which ignores the evidence on the harm the cut will do - 5.5 million people affected, with hundreds of thousands of families and children set to become impoverished.

and then there was this!

Huffpost

Tory MP and "Father of the House" Sir Peter Bottomley has described how members of parliament struggle on their £81,932 annual salary and deserve a pay rise - on the same day benefits were cut for millions of people.

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Reporting on October 2021

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