In October 2021, households across the UK faced one of the biggest cuts to social security rates in recent history. The government reversed a 20 pound-per-week benefit to universal credit that had been introduced during the pandemic. This benefit cut is now projected to plunge a further half a million people, including 200,000 children, into poverty. The irony of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s platform of ‘leveling up’ seems to have been lost on him. In some cases, the extra 20 pound-per-week benefit kept many struggling families from relying on food banks, where recipients often feel demeaned. Their experiences were documented in a partnership between researchers, parents, carers, and the charity Child Poverty Action Group, who have been collectively advocating for policies that would allow people to nourish and support their families. Despite the recent cut to the UK’s social security, caregivers on low incomes have succeeded in voicing their overlooked realities to policy makers in the public. Today, we will learn more about this transformative power in a project called COVID Realities.
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