People have been coming forward to speak to the Tees about their fears of the changes to Universal Credit which will take £20 a week away from some of our hardest pressed families. 

A group of people worried about the cut have taken to the streets today to urge their local MP’s to vote to keep the uplift including Kerry in Redcar.

Kerry tells the Tees, “Being a mother of three children on Universal Credit is brutally hard. The abuse I get to ‘go get a job’ is awful but in my case I cannot do that. I’m a carer for my son and I am a widow. Before the £20 uplift to Universal Credit, I robbed Peter to pay Paul and depended on my Mam so much every month to keep my children fed and warm, such a gut-wrenching thing as a parent to do after they had already been through so much… your Mam bringing treats because you couldn’t afford them. 

“The uplift has meant that I can now buy my kids the odd treat and I do not no have to rob Peter to pay Paul… The uplift is pennies to many, to me the thought of next month coming fills me with complete and utter dread.”

There are 5.9 million people receiving universal credit payments across the country, according to the latest government figures – almost double the three million making claims before the pandemic.

While some are seeking jobs and others are unable to work, 40% of claimants are already employed.

The Resolution Foundation think tank said workers would have to put in an nine extra hours a week to make up for the loss of £20, once pension contributions, childcare and travel costs had been taken into account.

There is a petition you can sign if you want to add your voice to the campaign to cancel the cut. 

The campaign is organised by Unite The Union: