Removing the Universal Credit uplift would have devastating consequences for hundreds of struggling families in Worcester, according to the city’s foodbank.
Worcester Foodbank has sounded the warning ahead of Wednesday’s Budget when the Government is expected to reveal whether it plans to retain the £20 weekly uplift in Universal Credit.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has remained tight-lipped over his plans ahead of his speech but foodbank has echoed calls from a wide number of organisations for ministers to keep the lifeline for families as they continue to weather the economic storm.
It comes after foodbank reported its busiest ever January with volunteers at the Lowesmoor centre feeding more than 920 people – up a third on the same month last year.
Grahame Lucas, Worcester Foodbank Manager, said: “Many families are walking a tightrope at the moment and removing the £20 uplift would tip the balance – it has to remain in place at least for the next year.”
“Foodbank will do everything it can to help people get back on their feet but ultimately we need Government to lead the way by ensuring everyone has an income that doesn’t force people to choose between heating or eating.”
Almost 400 children were fed by foodbank during January 2021 – a rise of 57 per cent – as more families were forced to rely on emergency food in the face of rising unemployment or other loss of income.
But a rise – particularly in financial giving – has enabled foodbank to keep pace with demand although the charity is appealing for a number of items which can be found here