Debt advice in Portsmouth has seen an increase in interest in recent times, with a focus on what Universal Credit is. Universal Credit is financial assistance to help with living costs. It’s accessible if you are not working or have a low income. It’s designed to be paid monthly and replaces the following benefits:
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Income based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income based Employment Support Allowance
- Income Support and Housing benefit
In March 2020, England went into lockdown as a result of COVID-19. This had major knock-on effects. For example, people were furloughed from their jobs and self-employed workers couldn’t work. It meant that many people were in their homes 24 hours a day leading to costs of living increasing. In order to alleviate the financial impacts on working from home, the government introduced a £20 a week uplift. This ‘uplift’ was meant to help with rent, food, gas and electricity.
During the first two weeks of April 2020 there were over 500,000 new claims for Universal Credit. That’s an increase of over ten times.
Due to the pandemic, many people who lost their jobs are finding it hard to find new employment. The extra costs they have had to endure over the last 18 months have led to Universal Credit claimants becoming reliant on the £20 uplift (£86 per month). With its removal, more people have been using food banks.
As we all know other costs of living are impacting us now. Petrol has gone up. There is a planned increase of National Insurance Tax of 1.5% points, which is over 10% in yearly contributions. Inflation is also impacting many in the UK. Maybe you need some advice…
Debt advice in Portsmouth
Have you thought about free workshops to help you gain control over your financial future? We run free 6 fun interactive workshops covering the following subjects:
- Managing Money
- Children & Money
- Family Learning
You can attend each and every workshop or just the one which may be of interest to you. For further information and to express your interest, please contact our Money Co-ordinator at Advice Portsmouth on 023 92794 340 or email@example.com.
What can you try to make your food and money go further?
- Writing a shopping list before you leave and plan the weeks meals so you only buy what you need.
- Save left overs and make another meal for lunch the following day.
- Buy Frozen vegetables and fruit, that way there will be no waste as it won’t go off if you don’t get around to eating it.
- Know what is in your kitchen cupboards before you go shopping to avoid buying things you already have.
- Buy a whole chicken instead of portions as it is cheaper and you can still feed a family of four.