Some days ago, it was announced that Universal Credit will be delayed until March 2022.
Social media went into a frenzy as many expressed their disappointment at the news. Universal credit is the single monthly payment which will replace income based jobseekers allowance, income related employment and support allowance.
Under the new scheme at least six benefit payments will be rolled into one. This means that those who were relying on weekly payments from various benefit allowances will need to adjust to receiving this as one single lump sum payment at the end of the month.
Whilst many expressed their displeasure about the news, we can’t help but think about those who are feeling quite relieved.
We spent some time talking to a few of our customers who are currently on benefits. Many, if not all expressed a genuine sense of concern about the looming changes. When asked about how the universal credit will impact them one said, “yes, I’ll find it hard, I rely on those weekly payments and will need to adjust to receiving this as a lump sum’. Another customer said, ‘I can easily see myself getting into debt’
Based on the conversations we’ve had with our customers, it’s clear that they are genuinely concerned about Universal Credit’s potential effects.
Many believe that they will struggle under the Universal Credit scheme because they’ll be getting paid monthly instead of weekly.
Some of our customers are single parents who find it difficult to commit to a full time job whilst raising very young children as a result they rely heavily on the weekly payments to meet the demands of day to day living costs.
To most, it’s the emergency payments that seem to crop up every now and then such as school trips new clothes etc. which they tend to struggle with. Those weekly benefit payments seem to come at the right time.
Monthly payments are well received by those who are working full time but many still struggle to make it last until their next pay day.
The truth is, many are still learning to budget well and manage their finances, throwing the universal credit scheme into the works can throw them off their budget and make them worse off!
Let’s take a moment and think of those on the other side of the coin, who may take a while to adjust under Universal Credit scheme.