Trussell Trust Calls for Urgent Incease in Universal Credit

AN URGENT increase in Universal Credit is necessary as the cost of living crisis pushes people to make “dangerous, impossible decisions” in an attempt to make ends meet.

Prices of essential goods in the UK are skyrocketing due to the inflation hiking at a 40-year high of nine percent, driven by the impact of both the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
On top of that came the energy price cap that rose by 54 percent on April 1, leaving British people having to deal with massive increases in their energy bills. With a major recession looming, the Government is urged to raise the UK benefit rates and increase Universal Credit payments to help people survive the rising tide of cost increases.

The Trussell Trust, a non-profit with a nationwide network of food banks, has noticed an increase in the number of individuals seeking assistance. Food banks are being put into a “extremely tough situation,” according to Sumi Rabindrakumar, Head of Policy and Research at Trussel Trust.

Ms. Rabindrakumar recounted the distressing circumstances in which vulnerable, low-income individuals and families find themselves, and encouraged the government to step up its help.

“The benefit rates in our system, as well as Universal Credit, are dangerously low,” Ms Rabindrakumar adding that when a financial crisis strikes, they leave individuals with little or no protection and leave too many people unable to afford the essentials that they need to buy. This she explained is the reason that many people are turning to the Food Banks.

“As prices have increased, we have seen an acceleration of needs – a quick increase in the number of parcels provided and in those who come to our food banks for the first time,” the CEO said when asked about the surge in demand that food banks are facing.

With the energy situation worsening, she said the demand in using the Trust’s foodbanks to rise even more in the coming months. In terms of energy expenses, she said that consumers are increasingly requesting cold meals or kettle-only shipments because they cannot afford to use electrical equipment.

She said that people are increasingly asking things like “kettle-only parcels” or food that can be eaten cold because they are turning off vital appliances to try to keep up with their escalating bills. This dhe indicated was demonstrating the lengths to which consumers would go to manage their energy expenditures.