Over 100,000 kids face Christmases like something from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol if predictions about Universal Credit come true.
The Peabody Trust says anyone (outside Scotland) who moves onto UC after 20th November will not receive a payment until after Christmas. New claimants must wait at least five weeks for to receive the benefit. This means parents will have to beg or borrow to provide for their families.
In Plymouth, one man told The Sun he would have to resort to crime to make sure his son gets a Christmas. The unnamed dad said he is selling all his belongings to make ends meet.
This summer, Peabody, one of the country’s biggest landlords, revealed just three in ten low income households had savings to fall back on. This was later backed up by Quids in!’s research that found just one in four save for a rainy day. When faced with more than a month without an income, UC claimants are forced to turn to foodbanks and debt.
Peabody is calling on the government to reduce the waiting time for the first UC payment to two weeks. The Scottish Government has already implemented this shorter waiting time.
Covering Christmas for Claimants:
Read Quids in!’s top tips on managing Christmas on UC here.