Improvements are needed in the level and operation of benefits millions depend on.
Government has confirmed the benefits freeze* will end in 2020 as planned. Yet it seems unlikely this will prevent serious deprivation and social consequences.
Struggle to make ends meet
Latest Citizens Advice research – Achieving Income Security for All – shows many people on benefits struggling to pay for household essentials.
A report by cross-party MPs on the Work and Pensions Committee – Universal Credit and Survival Sex – shows women (and some men) unable to feed their families and seeing sex work as the only way forward.
Citizens Advice is calling for changes to social security so that people on benefits have enough to live on, and universal credit is flexible enough to respond to the needs of real people.
Enough to live on?
Flexible universal credit?
* The benefit freeze has cut an average of £560 per year from the income of the country's poorest seven million families since 2016, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. That's more than £2,000 of lost income those families have had to cope with, and the end of the freeze next April doesn't reverse what amounts to a 6% cut in real terms in their income.