Universal Credit cut could spark charity sector exodus

Community has added our voice to the call to stop the cut to Universal Credit, as well as warning about the potentially devastating impact the cut could have on the charity sector.

Numerous charities have warned that the Universal Credit cut will lead to a surge in demand. Anti-poverty charities recently raised numerous concerns about the plans, with The Joseph Rowntree Foundation saying the cut would push 500,000 people below the poverty line. The Trussell Trust found that 18% of the Universal Credit claimants it polled were unaware of the cut.

43% of the charities have seen an increase in demand for their services during the Coronavirus pandemic, a survey conducted by the Institute of Fundraising in partnership with the Charity Finance Group and NCVO revealed. It also showed that 48% of charities had seen a decline in voluntary income.

Adrian Axtell, National Secretary at Community, says:

“Over the past year and a half, workers in the charity sector have showed a heroic dedication to their roles in the face of truly unprecedented demand for support services.

Before the pandemic, charity sector services were already stretched thin after over a decade of austerity. Charities across the country have seen surges in demand since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the cut to Universal Credit is expected to put further strain on the demands of charity services and the members of staff that provide them. Our members who work in the charity sector love their jobs, but they’re exhausted and there is only so much more they can take. The cut to Universal Credit could be the final blow that will see many flee the sector.”

Jonathan Reynolds, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Member of Parliament for Stalybridge and Hyde, says:

“This is a stark reminder of the wide spread impact cutting Universal Credit will have on our society and economy, taking billions out of local high streets and leaving millions of families worse off. The Government’s own analysis has shown this cut will be ‘catastrophic’. Time is running out for the Conservatives to see sense, back struggling families and cancel their cut to Universal Credit.”

On Wednesday, a motion in Parliament to cancel the cut to Universal Credit passed with 253-0. The vote is non-binding, and does not compel the government to act. The government have indicated they intend to proceed with the cut. A further non-binding amendment, tabled by Iain Duncan Smith and Damian Green, will go to a vote on Monday.

If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at help@community-tu.org or on 0800 389 6332.

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