The Trussell Trust has said that 2 in 5 people on Universal Credit have been “forced into a downward spiral of debt this winter” because payments have not kept pace with rising bills, leading to people feeling overwhelmed by debt.

The Trust commissioned an online survey by YouGov of 1,506 adults claiming Universal Credit between 24th January and 15th February 2022.

The charity, which runs food banks across the UK, found that 1 in 6 of those surveyed had visited a food bank at least once since the beginning of December, while 1 in 3 people had more than a single day without food or only one meal last month.

The research also suggested that 1 in 3 Universal Credit claimants had not been able to afford to heat their homes for more than 4 days over last month.

Unfortunately, the current situation is set to get worse as the government will only increase benefits in September by 3.1% in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate.  This is well below the predicted 7% rate of inflation forecast by the Bank of England.

In response, more than 50 charities, including Save the Children UK and Child Poverty Action Group, have called on the government to increase benefits by at least 7% later on this year.

The full article can by accessed via this BBC News link.