Debt charity says Tories’ flagship welfare project forcing claimants into destitution

Universal credit fuels debt problems for low-income claimants, forcing many into destitution and driving others to loan sharks to get cash for basics such as food, clothes and heating, a leading charity has claimed.

StepChange, the UK’s largest debt charity, said problems relating to universal credit’s design – in particular the five-week wait for a first benefit payment – made it harder for its financially vulnerable clients to manage their money.

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