Caller 'insulted' by £27-a-month Universal Credit offer during Covid crisis

19 October 2020, 16:31

Caller 'insulted' by £27-a-month Universal Credit offer during Covid crisis

By Sam Sholli

This is the moment a caller told LBC how he was offered just £27-a-month through Universal Credit despite financially struggling during the Covid crisis.

Matt from Greenwich told LBC's Shelagh Fogarty that he felt the amount offered was insulting as somebody who had "been paying taxes for 30 years".

Explaining his predicament, Matt told Shelagh that he was working in advertising before his "whole business came grinding to a halt" in the period between late-February and early-March.

Elaborating on his situation further, he said: "I don't qualify for the same help that self-employed people do or indeed people that have set up a pay-as-you-earn scheme at their limited company. So I've received no Government support."

'I spent 20 years building the lifeboats and now there's no room'

Matt explained that, having been advised to apply for Universal Credit by his accountant, he "went through that process and they offered [him] £27-a-month".

He said: "I don't know what you can do with £27-a-month. I mean I don't want to swear on the radio, but it's an insult.

"I've been paying taxes for 30 years and now when I need some help £27-a-month is not going to do very much."

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When asked by Shelagh, how he has been able to keep going during the Covid crisis, he said: "Well, nothing. I've just been using up my savings basically, earning through those and now I'm just doing cash-in-hand painting and decorating just to make ends meet."

Shelagh then asked Matt what impact his financial situation had had on him during the pandemic.

Matt replied: "Huge. For six months I couldn't pay for food shopping every week. What that does to a person's self-esteem is really damaging."

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