Temporary increase of £ 20 per week ends today
Last updated 28 minutes ago
Over one million Londoners on Universal Credit will see their weekly payments reduced by £ 20 per week from today.
The government introduced the temporary increase to support people during the pandemic.
Now, however, the number of people claiming the allowance in the capital has doubled since March 2019, according to the latest data.
Stewart lost his job when the coronavirus hit and has been to universal credit ever since.
He says that even with the increase it is impossible to save and afford the basics is a stretch.
“It gradually wears you out,” he says. “At 7pm, I go to four of the supermarkets, I like to take a tour of honor around Southwark, around all the small sections.”
“I had to really try hard to stay mentally fit, I could feel the cloud of depression coming over me, and it’s not good to apply for a job.”
Save the Children is part of a long line of charities, think tanks, unions and leaders from all walks of life who oppose the removal of the £ 20 per week increase.
The government continued with the reduction despite fears that hundreds of thousands of people could be pushed into poverty.
Rebecca, a working single mother, said she “already felt the pinch” and feared she would still have trouble feeding her eight-year-old daughter when the uprising was removed.
She said: ‘What £ 20 means for families like mine is to be able to afford healthy, appropriate food – not just cheap processed foods.
“This means having the heater on for two hours a day so it doesn’t freeze.
“This cut is going to be devastating for families like ours.”
Boris Johnson has defended the reduction in universal credit, arguing that the taxpayer should not subsidize low wages.
The Prime Minister said there was a £ 500million distress fund, an increase in childcare services, an increase in the local housing allowance and a warm homes rebate to help people in difficulty.