Tyron Wilson, 30, suffered a severe mental breakdown and is awarded Universal Credit. He has shared his concerns after the government refused to increase the benefit in line with the current rate of inflation
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Many Britons are currently concerned that after eating they will choose between heating and eating electricity bill Increase coming next month.
So for those who live on universal creditthe timing of that spring declaration couldn’t be more important as they dread the next few months.
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They include Tyron Wilson, 30, who lives in temporary accommodation in Bristol and began applying for Universal Credit in 2020 alongside Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
Now he has shared his thoughts on today’s announcement.
He said: “It’s that kind of thing where you wonder if you can turn on the radiator and the little things that make life worth living.
“It’s very easy for people who haven’t received benefits to think that you can just cut back.”
Two years ago he lived in London and worked in PR before he began battling depression, anxiety and paranoia and suffered a severe mental breakdown.
He said: “I worked in London. I don’t think anyone thinks they’re going to be homeless.
“I’m lucky I’m not in the worst state of homelessness anymore, I have temporary housing now.
“A few years ago I had a nervous breakdown and serious mental health problems followed. I left London to live with my godparents who were very generous but when the pandemic hit they were unable to support me in the way that was understandable.
“A few days before the first lockdown, I became homeless and lived in a Salvation Army shelter.
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“It’s the bottom of the ladder that keeps you from slipping. I’ve lived with a lot of people who really went through it.|
Now he has learned how this will affect people who are already struggling – especially after the benefit was cut last September when a £20 weekly increase in payments came to an end.
Tyron said: “It didn’t hit me as hard as some people did, but it still affected me. I really noticed it overnight.
“It meant I couldn’t handle emergency expenses. I’ve been worrying so much more since October.
“Last winter I spent between £30 and £40 on my electricity meter. I checked between January and February and it was £78.
“I didn’t do anything differently. It was at that moment that I thought, my god, my monthly budget is in the hands of a man
“It means you’re doing what you can – stay in one room and under the covers as much as possible and do whatever you can to keep things within limits, but everything goes on.
He said: “I’m very upset most of the time. I got my hopes up a bit.
“It looked like he was going to be of some help to people on Universal Credit, and I allowed myself to believe there would be something in there.
“I thought [Rishi] see how prices have developed and how our income has fallen. When he started talking about fairness I really thought he might scrap the £20 cut.
“Even this small increase is only based on September inflation. I notice the changes in cost a lot, as you do when you have Universal Credit.
“At Aldi there are all the varieties that I have noticed that have increased or doubled. When you’re at the bottom, you really feel the rise in inflation.
“When your income is down, you feel it. It makes it that much harder to deal with emergency expenses.
“Once we had the 20 pound increase there was a little bit more wiggle room. It’s not sustainable, I was really hoping there would be something today.
Rishi Sunak ignored calls to increase Universal Credit payments after the £20 increase was lifted in October last year.
Output will increase until April as it does every year to keep up with inflation, but the 3.1% increase lags behind the inflation rate, which currently stands at 6.2% and could rise above 10% in the coming months .
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/savings-banks/i-rely-universal-credit-live-26540401 "I rely on Universal Credit to live - here's what I think of Rishi's spring declaration"