Wednesday, 20 Oct 2021

Pregnant mum-of-5 says family ‘won’t survive’ after £20 Covid payments scrapped

A mum-of-five with another child on the way has said the withdrawal of the Covid 19 uplift payment will leave her struggling to cope.

In response to the early days of the pandemic, the government announced a one-year uplift in entitlements to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit worth £20 per week, which is set to end next month. It is likely to leave millions out of pocket.

One of those is pregnant mum-of-five Shannon Brown who said she will likely be in debt as a result of the cut, HullLive reported.

The 25-year-old, from Hull, said: "I have been using the money to pay for bills and other necessities and now that they're taking it away, I am going to be in so much debt just so I can support my family. It is out of order.

"It is cruel to people who have kids that are living off the minimum amount they give you."

Other people, speaking outside the Hull Job Centre, said they would have to resort to begging or choose between food on the table or Wi-Fi to search for jobs.

Shannon, who was with her two-year-old Khaos at the Job Centre said it is a lot harder on her financially now that her son is a toddler, as the cost of necessities for the family has gone up with more food, shoes and clothes necessary.

Shannon worries that she will not be able to support her family when the new arrival is here.

"They are taking £87 off me, it may not seem like a lot to some people but to me, it makes a big difference," she said.

"It is not fair what they have done, a lot of people are going to suffer because of that."

The increase was introduced in April 2020 to help people cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

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It will be withdrawn between early October and early November as ministers say society is returning to normal after Covid.

But critics say the biggest overnight benefit cut since the Second World War will hit millions just as furlough ends.

John Ainley, 62, said he was made redundant from work in October 2019 and has had to rely on benefits ever since. He gets £63 a week which he says is not enough to live off on.

He said: "The first thing I do when I get the money is pay my rent because I don't want to get evicted. So I only eat a couple of times a week, and now they are taking £20 from that.

"It is just mad, I'll probably have to be outside begging now."

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