Victoria B on 09 March 2021

Freedom costs. I know I'm more likely to face additional financial hardships in the coming months, more people will want money from me, more expenses, but with less income, especially when they take away the £20pw in the autumn. I'm terrified of how hungry we'll be in a few months. I dreading needing to turn to food banks again, especially after last springs experience with food banks low quality and often out dated foods. I want to feel hopeful, I want to feel happy again, I want to be able to smile with my kids without feeling like I'm faking cheer. So even when lockdown is fully lifted I'll likely not be able to enjoy the world as we did pre-Covid, because it costs too much to leave the home and enjoy the world. Even a trip to the beach (£10-15 in buses) would need to become a rare treat when once, pre-Covid, pre universal credit, it was a semi regular outing. It costs too much to live even a basic existence these days, let alone one of substance (by substance here I don't mean luxury, I mean basic quality). The system is rigged against us, against low income families, especially against single parent families. It's not right. I knew when I left my ex that I was making a choice tween living in hell with him or living in relative poverty without him, I choose the latter cos at least my kids would be safe from abuse on benefits. But it's a shitty choice to be forced to make. Hunger or assault.

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