Sarah Saward, Head of Income at Weaver Vale Housing Trust, discusses the impact of the removal of the Universal Credit uplift
"The end of the Universal Credit uplift comes at one of the most challenging times that we have ever seen for our customers and the communities we serve.
"Twenty pounds a week might not seem a lot to some, but for many of our customers, it has been a vital lifeline that has been the difference between being able to put food on the table or not.
"At Weaver Vale Housing Trust, we are working hard to support our customers to cope with the reduction in Universal Credit in a wide range of ways.We have increased the capacity of our Work and Enterprise Team, which helps to support customers into employment and provide training and support to get them ready for work, to cope with the increase in demand for this kind of support during Covid. We also work with customers that are in debt or at risk of going into debt and offer support through benefit maximisation to help relieve financial pressure.
"However, while this kind of support is vital and we are committed to continuing to increase our capacity to help as many people as possible with employment and income support, it’s important to remember that 40% of people claiming Universal Credit are in work – removing the uplift is going to hit many working people just as hard as those that are unable to work.
"Together with the end of the furlough scheme potentially putting jobs at risk, the rise in energy prices and rising costs of petrol and food, the sad truth is that more and more people and families face falling into hardship. We’re working hard to help plug the gap for any customers that are affected, including securing government grant to appoint two new energy advisors to help customers look at how they can save money on their fuel bills, together with continuing to develop the support offered by our employment and money support teams.
"I would urge any customers who are worried about how they will cope to get in touch with us so that we can look at how we can best support them."
How to contact us