5 October 2021

Our fears about the Universal Credit cut

“I don’t have anything to cut back on anymore,” a PCS member tells us ahead of the £20 cut to Universal Credit which hits millions of people tomorrow.

Dozens of members have got in touch to share their fears for the future ahead of the government’s decision to end the £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit (UC) becoming a reality tomorrow (6). The uplift was originally introduced as a support measure at the beginning of the pandemic.

Members have described the impact of the cut; their names have been changed.

Margaret, a single parent, who works full-time is an executive officer at a Jobcentre Plus, said: “I claim UC and I am struggling to make ends meet already without losing the uplift.

The cost of food has increased, and I have had to increase my food budget by £20 a month to reflect that, also fuel has increased to its highest cost per litre in quite some time, now gas and electricity going up is really making me scared for the future.

I don’t have anything to cut back on anymore and I am going to be forced into a position where I am asking family to help me out with food in the last week of the month.”

Greg, executive officer jobcentre plus, says the cut will make it increasingly difficult to cover the basics: “I am a single parent with a 16-year-old son who has just started college.

The £20 a week loss will make it increasingly difficult for me to afford his bus fare and provide him with adequate lunches.

I struggle with anxiety, taking daily medication for it, and this has got much worse over the last few weeks, knowing that yet again I have to try and do more with less.”

For Wendy, an administrative officer at a DWP contact centre, life will be even more of a struggle.

“I am going to struggle with the £20 stopping which I feel is extremely unfair,” she said.

“I know it's only £20 but when you have a small child who I receive DLA for and a partner who can't find work at the moment, this is a lot to lose.

I just feel the government need to make sure people are not going into financial hardship which a lot of people are going to find themselves in.”

Are you a DWP member? Sharing your story will help us to oppose the ending of the £20 uplift. Contact PCS at leeds@pcs.org.uk to tell us how you feel about losing the £20. Any information will be kept confidential, but we may anonymise some of your testimony and use it in our campaigns and communications.

If you’re a PCS member in another department, email editor@pcs.org.uk to tell us how the cut affects you.