UK Credit

Starving people go “three days without food” due to cuts in universal credit, charity says

The reduction in universal credit and rising energy costs are expected to plunge more people in North East Lincolnshire into hunger and poverty.

The director general of the borough’s Citizens Advice Bureau said the end of the leave had also impacted more families, struggling with lower incomes.

He said some people go three days without food to make sure their children are fed first and that people are already approaching them for debts.

There are 18,500 people on Universal Credit in North East Lincolnshire. By the end of the fiscal year, that equates to £ 7.3million less to spend in the borough.

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Tony Gaskins told Grimsby Live that there should be a cumulative effect in the reduction in Universal Credit, in which beneficiaries who get the £ 20 per week increase will no longer have the additional payment of their benefits to the end of this month.

He said: “It’s a perfect storm for many in our borough.

“This is going to be really bad for those who depend on universal credit. Strategically, for a full year it is over £ 14million and we are already seeing the impact.

Tony Gaskins, Managing Director of the Grimsby Citizens Advice Bureau

“The £ 20 a week has kept a lot of their heads above water. Now they are going to come back to a situation where they will struggle.

“Some will be worse off than others as they are also affected by rising energy bills. It’s a perfect storm with that and the end of the holidays.

“Some are trying to improve their skills or find another job in a similar industry. The £ 20 was a liferaft and taking it out means people don’t have enough to eat and keep a house warm.

“We are already seeing people coming to us because of the debt they are taking on debt, just to meet basic expenses.”

The 13 CAB staff and volunteers prepare for an influx of struggling people.

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Tony Gaskins, Managing Director of Citizens Advice North East Lincs with advice on dealing with debt this Christmas
Tony Gaskins, Managing Director of Citizens Advice North East Lincs with advice on dealing with debt this Christmas

Tony said: “People are trying to prepare for Christmas and are already struggling to make ends meet.”

With confidentiality rules, he cannot divulge cases. But a single parent told CAB she had used the extra £ 20 to pay energy bills and now didn’t have enough to pay for food and put money in for gasoline.

Tony said: “She now starves herself to feed her children and doesn’t eat for a few days, just to make ends meet.

“There are several clients who tell us that.

He added: “We also have singles who have no dependents who find it impossible to pay for fuel, food and basic necessities. Some go three days without food. It is becoming a common story of find out if they want a warm home or something to eat.

“If you add that to the £ 600 a year for fuel, some families are really going to have a hard time getting through this winter. It’s not just those who are out of work. Many are asking employers if they can work five or six hours. extra to make up for the reduction in universal credit. This can be difficult when you have to work around child care. “

The staff and volunteers of the Citizens Advice Bureau ensure that those who seek their support get the best deal possible for energy supply and help fight debt. They also verify entitlement to benefits and that employers pay staff correctly and within the rules of the national minimum wage.

Tony said a small number of employers did not pay the correct wages.

He said: “They were in the hospitality, care and retail industry. When we checked for errors, they were due to oversights.”

The CEO said the CAB treats around 6,000 clients a year and has around 15,000 sessions to give advice.

The phone number that people should contact the CAB on is Adviceline: 0800 144 8848 or through the website is

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