A new local campaign group have launched a call to end the roll out of Universal Credit with a demonstration held outside the Department for Work and Pensions headquarters in Sheffield. Campaigners from Sheffield Stop and Scrap Universal Credit argue that the new benefit arrangements are leaving some people as much as £50 per week worse off. Sheffield Live! reporter Azz Mohammed spoke to the campaign’s acting chair Martin Mayer.
Two Sheffield churches have come together to offer food bank support to those who may fall short during the switch over to the Universal Credit system. Universal Credit is currently being rolled out to benefit claimants across Sheffield. Sheffield Live! reporter Azz Mohammed spoke to Sam Evans, director of social action with Forge Youth and Chris Hardy, manager of Sheffield 6 Food Bank.
Citizens Advice Sheffield has called on the government to fix the new Universal Credit welfare scheme before it is further rolled out in the city. Sheffield has a temporary Universal Credit ‘live service’ for people with straightforward claims but the charity has warned that implementation has been problematic, putting people at financial risk as they wait six weeks or more for their first payment. The numbers struggling to set up on the Universal Credit scheme could grow rapidly from July 2018, when ‘full service’ arrives, meaning anyone still in receipt of older benefits, such as tax credits or housing benefit, has to apply for Universal Credit. It is projected that 69,000 households across Sheffield will be moved to the Universal Credit scheme by 2022. Simon Thake reports for Sheffield Live!