Keep the Lifeline

Our campaign to reverse the biggest overnight cut to social security
since the Second World War.


“Without the extra £20, I will literally simply exist, with the added worry that, should something unforeseen happen, I would be unable to deal with it.”

Person receiving Universal Credit

On 6 October, the UK Government took £20 a week from the pockets of six million low-income families, cutting their incomes by up to a fifth as the cost of living is set to soar.

This was the biggest overnight cut to social welfare since World War II and could see 1.2m people across the UK having to skip meals just to get by.

Food banks will continue doing all they can to help people struggling to afford the essentials, but no charity can replace the dignity of having enough money to buy your own food.

The Government must change course

Over 25,000 people wrote to their MP calling on them to urge the Government to #KeepTheLifeline before the cut came into effect.

Why we must reverse the cut to Universal Credit

Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Trussell Trust found that, for people claiming Universal Credit, the £20 a week cut could have the following impact:

1 in 10 people

say they are ‘very likely’ to not be able to cook food because they wouldn’t be able to afford to use an oven.

1 in 5 people

say they are ‘very likely’ to need to skip meals.

1 in 5 people

say they will struggle to heat their homes this winter.

We are not giving up.

“The £20 per week uplift is the difference between my being able to eat or pay rent. Winter was already a huge struggle to afford food, rent, council tax and bills and keep the lights on.”

Person receiving Universal Credit

Social security should be strong enough for all of us to rely on when we need a lifeline – because, as the pandemic has shown us, life is full of things we can’t plan for.

For the average person on Universal Credit, the cut represents a loss of 13% of income, and for some families the figure will be as high as 21%.

That’s why on 27 October, in the Chancellor’s Spending Review, we called on the UK government to choose to protect people when they need support, not cut them adrift. Choose a social security system that helps people afford the basics in life – like food and heating.

We called for them to reinstate the £20 in Universal Credit and #KeepTheLifeline.

If you receive, or have received, Universal Credit

If you have experience of Universal Credit, you can add your voice to the campaign by sharing how the cut of £20 a week has affected you. Find out more by checking out our Share Your Story page.

Share your story

It’s not too late for the Government to do the right thing.

Over 25,000 people wrote to their MP calling on them to urge the Government to #KeepTheLifeline.

This cut represented a devastating blow for millions of households already struggling
to make ends meet. It doesn’t have to be like this.