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PJ the Poet on the Universal Credit Uplift

Find out more about the temporary increase in Universal Credit by £20 a week here.

Before I had the increase in my Universal Credit increase, my financial world was very restricted. It was like I was living under a storm cloud that could rain down on me at any moment. Everything I bought and every activity I did had to be carefully planned and budgeted. The £40 to £50 I had as surplus after paying my bills and basic food had to last 30 days. This was for everything from clothing to socialising and fitness to treats.

Having the increase of £20 a week now means I have £130 pounds a month beyond bills. I can be more spontaneous with my decision making - if I go for a coffee with my independent living support worker I can offer to pay or even treat her to a piece of cake.

If I see a t-shirt in a sale I can buy it because I like it, not out of necessity.

If I want to go to the coast for the day on the metro I can choose to do it and not worry how much of my budget is left.

I can also improve my food purchases to be more healthy, but also include some sticky buns for a treat...

Also it means that my bank account isn't down to the last few pounds each month so the stress of always being empty and on the brink of crisis is reduced.

That small increase has had an exponentially positive effect on my mental health and my general well being. To be able to act normal nourishes the soul and makes you feel part of society.

Being able to be spontaneous and enjoy some social life is wonderful. It is like walking in sunshine instead of under a cloud. I feel a bit more human.

Paul John the Poet

March 2021

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