Millions of people risk falling into poverty as the “devastating” rollout of Universal Credit continues, campaigners have warned.
Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K), the anti-poverty charity which campaigns nationally for welfare reform, said over two million people on old-style “legacy benefits” could lose out financially after being switched onto the “inadequate” new system.
In the new research, the charity found 1.5 million disabled and seriously unwell people in particular could face harm as the financial support offered by Universal Credit doesn’t match other benefits.
Our new report #BluntBureaucraticAndBroken published today reveals the devastating impact #UniversalCredit is having on those living in the most vulnerable situations https://t.co/612qdgIMe7pic.twitter.com/bhPBNdbAsS
— Z2K (Zacchaeus 2000 Trust) (@Z2K_trust) December 3, 2020
Anela Anwar, Z2K’s chief executive, said: “Universal Credit was designed to deal with the most straightforward of cases, but the reality is that most peoples’ lives are rarely straightforward. Ministers and senior officials have had their head in the sand for too long.”
Universal Credit is the Government’s flagship welfare benefit reform and combines six benefits into one payment. Its rollout is yet to be completed, with the current target date for completion pushed back to September 2024.