Skip to main content

To: UK Political Party Leaders

It's time for Universal Credit to protect people from going without the essentials

Despite living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, five out of six low-income households receiving Universal Credit are going without essentials, driving more and more people into hardship and through the doors of food banks.

Do you agree this isn’t right?

Everyone’s circumstances can change. Losing your job, needing to care for a sick family member, breaking up with your partner – these are things that can happen to any of us.

Our social security system should offer adequate support to anyone in need of help, but right now it’s not based on an objective assessment of what things cost and isn’t even providing enough to cover life’s essentials.

Will you support the principle that, at a minimum, Universal Credit should always protect people from going without the essentials?

Why is this important?

I’m Mandy, Manager at Pontypridd Foodbank, and I’m supporting the Trussell Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s petition which calls on all UK political party leaders to make sure Universal Credit protects people from going without the essentials.

More and more people are coming to our food bank because Universal Credit simply isn’t enough to afford the essentials, and for many, deductions are cutting their income even further.

I know what this feels like. Universal Credit is not enough for me and my kids to live off, plus we had to wait five weeks before we got our first payment. When you’re struggling to make ends meet and need support, you don’t have savings to cover five weeks! The knock-on effect of treading water every day also makes you feel helpless and depressed.

But this can change. Universal Credit must keep up with the actual cost of essentials, with deductions not pushing people deeper into poverty. This would drastically reduce the number of people who need my food bank’s support and give hope to people in the same situation I was in.

Please add your name now.

United Kingdom

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL



2024-03-01 13:37:42 +0000

On Wednesday 28 February, standing alongside the Trussell Trust, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, food banks from across the UK, actress Charlotte Ritchie and representatives from the anti-poverty sector including 38 Degrees, I handed in our petition calling for an Essentials Guarantee within Universal Credit.

This was such a massive step in our campaign and could not have happened without you, thank you so much for everyone who added their name.

We have shown party leaders and their representatives the groundswell of public support for an Essentials Guarantee. If politicians took action and implemented this into Universal Credit, this would drastically reduce the number of people who need my food bank’s support and give hope to people in the same situation I was in.

2024-02-17 17:07:30 +0000

50,000 signatures reached

2024-02-14 18:29:02 +0000

20,000 signatures reached

2024-02-14 15:16:41 +0000

10,000 signatures reached

2024-02-14 12:55:10 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2024-02-12 16:40:24 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2024-02-12 15:51:07 +0000

500 signatures reached

2024-02-12 15:28:42 +0000

100 signatures reached

2024-02-12 15:26:55 +0000

50 signatures reached

2024-02-12 15:25:04 +0000

25 signatures reached

2024-02-12 15:23:29 +0000

10 signatures reached