Q. With these new changes to Universal Credit coming in, what do you think about this focus on helping working families?
I'll declare an interest - I am part of one of the families in work who is going to benefit from this change. In fact, I think I only had one assessment period where I dropped back to the old pre-"covid uplift" rate when the £86 was taken away. So I cannot deny I am extremely relieved at this new change. It will go a massive way towards my bills. I cannot say (which some of the media is reporting) that it will help with Christmas. It won't. I have budgeted for that - for the food, some presents, and one or two new decorations. This new taper rate change will help me to save for the next 6mths when my energy bills massively increase on renewal and I will be back struggling to pay for things again. But at least I get 6 mths relief. What I really object to is this idea once again that benefits are only for those who work - that work will somehow make you better off. Well, yes I am better off because they dropped my UC by £86 prior to the increase. But what about the unpaid carers on UC, the sick or disabled on UC who cannot work, the jobless. It's a desperately sad state of affairs that with increasing costs in the pipeline benefits increase only to serve an agenda. Just increasing workers' UC payments will not mean a carer can give up caring, or that someone ill is cured.