Another text read: “As a full-time carer I can’t work. Energy prices and rising food prices will make this a really difficult time for many. It doesn’t make economic sense to make this cut.”
The government cut universal credit on October 6 in what the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said was the biggest overnight cut to social security since the Second World War.
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“It’s clear what a devastating impact this cut is going to have on millions of people,” Emma Revie, chief executive at the Trussell Trust, said.
“It’s wrong that so many people in our country will now be forced to decide between putting food on the table and switching the heating on.
“Everyone deserves to be able to afford the essentials in life. We all need the security and stability of a strong lifeline, not just during a national crisis, but every day.”
Ministers ignored a fierce campaign by activists, MPs and former Tory welfare ministers to keep the £20-per-week increase, introduced at the start of the pandemic to support people through the crisis. Campaigners are now shifting their focus to pressuring the government into reversing the cut before people are pushed further into poverty during what Keir Starmer said could be a “bleak winter”.
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Rishi Sunak will set out the government’s spending plans in the budget next week. One texter wrote: “Please Mr Chancellor, I urge you to reconsider your removal of the £20 uplift for the sake of my family and many other families like mine who will be plunged below the poverty line as a result.
“Do it for the children who deserve a brighter future. Do it for the parents who go to bed every night agonising how they’re going to face tomorrow. And please, do it because your moral compass knows the devastation and heartache this will cause for so many.”