Money Wellness
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calendar icon03 Oct 2023

‘Inadequate universal credit’ needs complete overhaul

Universal credit needs a complete overhaul as it isn’t protecting people from being pulled into poverty, according to new research.

A report from the think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says universal credit is inadequate when it comes to meeting day-to-day living costs.

Failing to tackle poverty

Even with the temporary cost-of-living payments, many households face an insecure financial future, using loans to cover bills and, in some cases, going without hot meals or heating, the think tank warns.

It points out:

  • 5.7 million low-income households are skipping meals because they can’t afford food
  • Foodbank use is at a record high, with the Trussell Trust alone giving out 3 million packages in 2022/23
  • Poverty on the UK is on the rise - 1.2 million fewer children would be in poverty if the downward trend seen in the late 90s and early 00s had continued
  • Ill-informed stereotypes about people on low incomes have contributed to the UK offering some of the lowest income replacement benefits among countries with comparable economies

What the IPPR wants

The IPPR is calling for:

  • politicians to come together to talk about the future of the benefits system as a force for good in tackling poverty
  • a commission to be set up to work out exactly how much money people need for an adequate standard of living
  • a new independent body to bang the drum for an effective benefits system and to hold the government to account
Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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