Caller 'demoralised' over £39-per-month Universal Credit offer during Covid

18 January 2021, 18:15

By Fiona Jones

Caller Lydia has worked and paid taxes for over ten years and now feels utterly demoralised as she only qualifies for £39 a month on Universal Credit.

Eddie took calls on people receiving Universal Credit while MPs continue to debate whether the £20 increase in the Universal Credit will stop at the end of March.

Caller Lydia was head of marketing for a five star hotel before she was let go in August due to the pandemic.

It took her until November to apply for Universal Credit because she thought she might get another job and also she felt "there was quite a lot of stigma attached to signing on."

"My partner is a barber...obviously that's been absolutely decimated, his businesses have been shut at the moment," she said, "when I signed on, because he takes home a certain amount of money per month, they take away 63p for every pound that you earn - you apply as a couple.

"So after all of that plus I have savings over £6000 which I had saved to pay for our wedding which was also cancelled last year...I take home a grand total of £39 per month which I initially thought was per week."

Lydia told Eddie her and her partner's rent is £1500 a month as they live in Central London.

"It's an absolute joke, I've been working for ten plus years paying taxes and national insurance and I kind of wish that I haven't bothered now because I feel even more demoralised than I did before," she said.

"It feels like all the hard work that I've put into helping to support the job market and my country before doesn't mean anything because I'm getting no support back when I need it most."

Her and her partner are hoping his barber business will be able to reopen soon due to the vaccination rollout and Lydia has enough money to last her until April by using the wedding fund.

"I recognise I'm in a good position because I have savings but it's taken a long time to save up that money and it'll take a long time to save it up again once we're up and running as a household," Lydia said.

The pair hope they will be able to have a wedding at the end of the year.

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