Destitution in the UK 2018

Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Glen Bramley, Filip Sosenko, Janice Blenkinsopp, Jenny Wood, Sarah Johnsen, Mandy Littlewood, Beth Watts

As a society we believe in protecting each other from harm and yet last year over 1.5 million people in the UK were pushed into destitution, going without the bare essentials and locked out of the chance of building a decent and secure life.

This research looks at the factors pushing people into destitution and the solutions to the problem. It highlights three key asks which would protect people from becoming destitute and support those who end up in destitution.

The UK Government needs to:

  • End the freeze on working-age benefits so they at least keep up with the cost of essentials and do not create destitution.
  • Change the use of sanctions within Universal Credit so that people are not left destitute by design.
  • Review the total amount of debt that can be clawed back from people receiving benefits, so they can keep their heads above water.

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