We launched our #LifeOnUniversalCredit campaign in March 2021 to help raise awareness of the realities faced by those living on Universal Credit and the impact the cut in the £20 per week uplift, introduced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, will have on them.
We started this campaign as the number of our customers claiming Universal Credit more than double since the start of the pandemic, from 4k to over 8k, due to job losses and lack of earnings. Despite this being a common trend across the country, the Government decided to remove the £20 per week uplift in October 2021 – a lifeline for so many. This came at a time where four in five social housing tenants on Universal Credit were struggling to pay for at least one essential item such as heating, council tax, or clothes and nearly 500,000 households may have been struggling to pay for food (more details can be found in this National Housing Federation report).
Our campaign joined in calls for the Government to keep the Universal Credit £20 per week top up or put in place other support measures for those struggling. We did this through highlighting the struggles faced by our customers to stakeholders and press, commenting on Universal Credit in the news, providing tips and advice for those on Universal Credit, and sharing impactful social media posts. Coverage from campaign was featured in a number of news outlets.