Monday, October 22, 2018
Single mum-of-two says switch to Universal Credit left her in £900 debt - and now she can't afford school uniform
A mum-of-two has spoken out after switching to the government's controversial Universal Credit has landed her in £900 of debt.
Stacey Gleave said those on benefits are left with no safety net as they change from the current system to the new one and now she can't afford school uniforms for her kids.
Single mum Stacey appeared on ITV's This Morning programme alongside hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford to explain what has happened to her.
"The problem for a lot of us out there is we've been left with no safety net in between, at all."
Eamonn asked: "When you talk about in between, you mean maybe five or six weeks, where you're assessed before you get get your first payment cheque.
"The fact you are claiming benefits means you haven't got a lot of money about."
Stacey agreed: "It means you've got no back up."
Eamonn added: "And they are assuming, wait five to six weeks you'll then get a cheque, but what do you do in between."
Stacey added she was offered a loan, but was concerned she would have to pay that back out of her new Universal Credit.
She decided to borrow from friends and family and now owes around £900 to them.
And she said she now cant even afford school uniform.
"He was coming home and asking me why he was different... the real reason was I couldn't afford the uniform," she admitted.
Universal Credit is being rolled out across the country.
It replaces six benefits: Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Employment Support Allowance and Housing Benefit.
Last year 113,000 people failed to get their first payment within a six-week limit.
Ministers unveiled £1.5bn of improvements in November 2017, cutting the six-week wait to five, but critics say it was not enough.
After eight delays Universal Credit will only finish its rollout in March 202
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