|A blog post by
Director of Policy, External Affairs & Research
Universal Credit is the biggest change to the welfare system in a generation and here at The Trussell Trust, we’ve been working hard with foodbanks in our network to monitor it. Our research has found that the system is leaving people behind – disabled people, families, and other vulnerable groups – and can push people into debt. Analysing data from foodbanks in our network, we’ve found that foodbanks in full Universal Credit rollout for 12 months or more have seen a 52% increase in need, compared to 13% elsewhere.
This is unacceptable. We need change now. You can help make this change.
The Trussell Trust has been working with End Hunger UK, since its inception in 2016, to tackle the root causes of hunger and lobby for policy and structural changes from government. End Hunger UK is built on a vision of a society where everyone has access to good food, and no one must go to bed hungry.
On the 11th July End Hunger UK launched, in the Houses of Parliament, our joint report on the issues with Universal Credit (Fix Universal Credit) alongside a petition to government to take our recommendations on board and change Universal Credit to ensure that it actually meets the needs of the people claiming it. We all should be able to rely on the welfare system being there for us in times of financial stress or hardship. For too many people, Universal Credit is currently failing in that task.
This national petition is a call to the Prime Minister to fix Universal Credit, to prevent people from going hungry. We will deliver the petition to 10 Downing Street in the lead up to the Autumn Budget in Mid-November, standing alongside volunteers from independent food aid providers and people with direct experience of the system.
The welfare system shouldn’t be pushing people into greater debt, destitution and hunger because of delays, errors, a lack of flexibility, and inadequate support. We want to use our voice to push for systemic change. By signing this petition, and spreading the word about it, you will be helping to make our welfare system a fairer system that treats all its claimants well.
As a matter of urgency, End Hunger UK is calling on the government to:
- Take action to improve the flexibility and support for people on Universal Credit.
- Make improvements to Universal Credit, to ensure it does not leave more people at risk of debt and destitution.
- Make a long-term commitment to ensure Universal Credit provides people with enough income to afford good food on a regular basis.
You can read our report here and sign the petition here. The petition is also available to print, so that you can take it with you to church meetings, social gatherings and anywhere you think it will reach the most people. The government will have to take notice if most of the, literally, thousands of people who use, volunteer or donate to our foodbanks every week lend their support to this petition by signing it and sharing it.
Thank you for your continued support in our work to end hunger in the UK.