Universal Credit causing major hardship, says report

More people are worse off under Universal Credit, according to a report published by a cross-party committee of MPs. Following evidence given by organisations including Mind and anti-poverty charity The Trussell Trust, the Public Accounts Committee has published their latest report which adds to the growing concern surrounding Universal Credit.

Responding to the report, Director of External Relations at Mind, Sophie Corlett said:“Today’s hard-hitting report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) adds to mounting concerns about Universal Credit. The damning report, which comes from a committee of cross-party MPs, recognises that people could be pushed into destitution as a result of the benefit, outlining that current regulations risk ‘causing hardship on a much larger scale’ for those of us with mental health problems.

“If the Government continues along their current path, hundreds of thousands of people with mental health problems on existing benefits will be forced to make a new claim for Universal Credit, and in doing so many risk losing their income – and even their homes – in the process. In areas where Universal Credit is already being rolled out, we’ve heard from a huge number of people about the difficulties of receiving this new benefit. Many people struggle to read or understand letters from the DWP, while others are unable to negotiate the complex, labyrinthine process of applying.

“No matter what the outcome of next week’s budget, the problems with Universal Credit go much further than just funding. We’re urging the Government to change their plans before the legislation is finalised in the next few weeks, to create a safety net so that no-one sees their money stopped before or during the move to Universal Credit.”

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