Take part in #EatFor20 from 17 to 23 July 2021
A new joint campaign from Citizens Advice Reading and ReadiFood is asking people to live on £20 for a week this summer, in order to highlight the need for continuing the £20 Covid-related uplift to Universal Credit (UC).
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended the £20 a week benefit boost until the end of September, in a bid to help UC claimants who may be struggling financially during the pandemic. However, Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey recently signalled that the extra money may be stopped before the winter.
Now Citizens Advice Reading and ReadiFood’s combined drive is asking people to live on £20 for a week – the sum someone living on UC might have to survive on, after paying rent and bills. This £20 needs to cover all living costs, for example all travel, as well as food costs.
Marie French, Chair of Citizens Advice Reading said:
There’s also a fundraising element. Both ReadiFood and Citizens Advice Reading are charities. With this in mind, we’re asking participants to donate the difference in what they would have spent, over the £20, to the joint fundraiser, and also encouraging them to be sponsored to undertake this challenge. An extra £20 a week may not sound that much, but to someone living on benefits it can make a massive difference, from putting petrol in the car for the week to buying a coat for your child to stay warm enough at the coldest time of year.
Not being able to meet basic living costs can lead to a multitude of issues, including further debt problems, having your energy supply cut off, or the risk of eviction and homelessness. If you’re on Universal Credit, we also want to hear your story about how you get by on this benefit, so please do get in touch.
Recent research reported in the Guardian found widespread public backing for permanently retaining the £20 a week Covid-related boost to UC as part of more generous benefits for disabled people, carers and young adults.