York couple who survived on £4 a day deliver Universal Credit petition to Downing Street

Photograph: Number 10 on Flickr

Two York people who were forced to live in a tent for weeks are to deliver a petition to 10 Downing Street today (Wednesday November 7).

Tony Carson and Sue Rimington were due to hand over the ‘Fix Universal Credit’ at the Prime Minister’s London home.

Last month YorkMix reported how Tony and Sue lived in a tent and survived on £4 a day due to a Universal Credit nightmare.


Tony said: “Universal Credit does not work and it’s the fault of the system. It doesn’t help you get back on your feet, it traps you.”

Sue said Universal Credit was not the only cause of their problems but said: “Universal Credit has swept us further into difficulty because you can never, ever, be in credit with Universal Credit.”

Urgent action required

Susan Rimington and Tony Carson with Buster, when they lived in a tent
They will be joined in Downing Street by managers from Trussell Trust and independent food banks and Amanda Button, who has worked with many Universal Credit claimants through her voluntary work with anti-poverty organisation ATD Fourth World.

The 18,000-signature petition calls for:

  • urgent action to improve the flexibility and support for people on Universal Credit, and
  • improvements to its design to ensure it does not leave more people at risk of debt and destitution.

Forced to use foodbanks

Supporters at the End Hunger UK conference in October
Last week’s Budget statement suggests that the Government recognises that Universal Credit must be fixed.

Some changes announced by the Chancellor are welcomed by campaigners, but they say the reforms don’t go far enough for many living in food poverty.

Emma Revie, chief executive of The Trussell Trust said:

  • We created our benefits system to make sure support would be in place for each other, but if Universal Credit is to continue this legacy, more must be done.

    Foodbanks in our network have been clear: waiting weeks for a first payment, not being able to access support and receiving payments that just don’t cover the cost of essentials, are forcing people to use foodbanks. The time to act is now.

You can see and sign the petition on the End Hunger website.