Pregnant mum-of-five doesnt know how shell survive Universal Credit cut – Yorkshire Live

Yorkshire benefit claimants say they will struggle to support themselves when the Covid £20 uplift is removed next month.

The temporary payout, which topped up Universal Credit payments with £20 each week to account for the coronavirus pandemic, is going to be scrapped on October 6 – meaning thousands of people will be left short.

And some benefit claimants in Hull have said this extra £20 has been a huge help, meaning they are now worried about how they will afford to live without it.

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Mum-of-five Shannon Brown, 25, is one of six million people in the country who relies on Universal Credit, she said she will probably end up in debt due to losing the extra £20 each week.

She was at the Jobcentre in Britannia House, Hull, with her two-year-old Khaos, when HullLive stopped to speak with her.

She said it is “out of order” for the government to be removing the topup.

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She said: “I have been using the money to pay for bills and other necessities and now that they’re taking it away, I am going to be in so much debt just so I can support my family. It is out of order.

“It is cruel to people who have kids that are living off the minimum amount they give you.”

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Shannon added her finances have become harder to manage now her son is a toddler, due to the cost of food, shoes and clothes going up.

But Shannon is pregnant with her sixth child and also worries about how she will be able to support her brood when her benefits are reduced.

“They are taking £87 off me, it may not seem like a lot to some people but to me, it makes a big difference,” she said.

“It is not fair what they have done, a lot of people are going to suffer because of that.”

The increase was introduced in April 2020 to help people cope with the Covid pandemic.

It will be withdrawn between early October and early November as ministers say society is returning to normal after Covid.

However, critics say the biggest overnight benefit cut since the Second World War will hit millions just as furlough ends.

Pictured is John Ainley, 62, a benefit claimant from Hull
John Ainley has been claiming benefits since 2019
(Image: Katie Pugh/HullLive)

John Ainley, 62, said he was made redundant from work in October 2019 and has had to rely on benefits ever since. He gets £63 a week which he says is not enough to live off on.

He said: “The first thing I do when I get the money is pay my rent because I don’t want to get evicted. So I only eat a couple of times a week, and now they are taking £20 from that.

“It is just mad, I’ll probably have to be outside begging now.”

Another man, who did not want to be named, said he was let go from work at the beginning of the pandemic and has actively been looking for work since.

He said he and his wife are both unemployed so he has to spend 12 hours a day looking for jobs for both of them.

He is getting £500 a month currently and is expected to lose £86 after the uplift is taken away. Because of this, he says, they have to choose between internet and putting food on the table.

“If they take away the money and we cannot pay for our internet, how are we supposed to be looking for jobs every day?” he added.

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