A group of anti-poverty charities have come together to launch a social media campaign urging the government to halt the ending of the £20 Universal Credit uplift.
The £20 addition to the benefit was added during the Covid-19 pandemic last year, but is due to end in October.
To encourage ministers to maintain the extra money, charities have launched a social media push under the hashtag #KeepTheLifeline, calling on people to write to their MP to tell them how much families rely on the extra money for food and essentials.
Involved in the campaign are among others: Citizen’s Advice, Child Poverty Action Group, Save The Children, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Trussell Trust.
Citizen’s advice is using its Twitter account to focus on the swift overnight cut to benefits that will push “families deeper into poverty”.
Millions will see their annual income cut by £1040 overnight, pushing families deeper into poverty.— CitizensAdvice (@CitizensAdvice) August 17, 2021
The government has a choice: add to the insecurity people face, or #KeepTheLifeline and give families the stability they need pic.twitter.com/LgTbtQOOq8
Meanwhile, Save the Children is using a case study of a parent, Gemma, who said she relies on the uplift to buy food for her family each week.
"£20 buys food for the week"— Save the Children UK (@savechildrenuk) August 17, 2021
Like thousands of other working parents, Gemma relies on #UniversalCredit for childcare, food and essentials.
£20 a week helps kids like Poppy keep smiling.
If this cut will affect you, ask your MP to #KeepTheLifeline: https://t.co/cfGgnYFlSO pic.twitter.com/5PIpa13RES
The Trussell Trust is warning that more than a million people could be forced to use foodbanks should the uplift end as planned.
If #UniversalCredit is cut in October as planned, over a million more people could be forced to use #foodbanks. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Ask your local MP to #KeepTheLifeline & stop more people being swept into poverty > https://t.co/stTCyS9exm https://t.co/acIrjiRk60— The Trussell Trust (@TrussellTrust) August 17, 2021
Child Poverty Action Group is another to use the voices of recipients of Universal Credit in its promotion to back #KeepTheLifeline.
This includes a comment from from parent Lexie, who said “the removal of the £20 uplift will mean I will have to choose between heating my home and myself and my husband eating.”
CPAG warns that the £20 cut in October, “will be the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since WW2”.
The £20-a-week cut to #UniversalCredit this October will be the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since WW2. We and many others are calling on the government to #KeepTheLifeline to protect children and families.— Child Poverty Action Group (@CPAGUK) August 17, 2021