Cost of living crisis: 10 years of Tory benefit cuts are driving people deeper into debt

Last Updated: June 30, 2022By Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sanction centre: people paying back debts to the benefit system are being penalised for being poor by the current Tory cost of living crisis because their situation forces them into the hands of high-interest doorstep lenders who will make their situation worse. Isn’t the benefit system supposed to keep people out of debt?

It is amazing that this has to be spelt out for people but, with us all having to deal with the Tory squeeze on our incomes, this may have evaded a few people.

The cost of living crisis has hit the poorest people and families worst, with people on benefits suffering the worst after 10 long years of punitive Tory cut after punitive Tory cut.

The Resolution Foundation has already pointed out that the poorest households are facing a higher rate of inflation than richer people.

This is because the rising cost of home services (like energy bills), transportation and food is having a greater effect on people with less income and fewer savings to pay for them; it’s not rocket science.

So the headline inflation rate for the lowest tenth of families is around 10.3 per cent, while it is 8.7 per cent for the richest tenth. This is the greatest disparity since cost of living data began to be collected at the start of this century.

Now the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has produced a study showing that a decade of social security cuts, underfunding, and punitive government debt collection terms are pushing low-income families – particularly benefit claimants – into financial crisis.

In many situations, people were forced to choose between feeding their loved ones and making their rent payments on time, as described in the study. 2.3 million homes had already gone without both.

Low-income individuals have resorted to borrowing, adding £12.5 billion in new debt in 2022 out of a total of £22 billion. They owe high-cost lenders, such as doorstep lenders and illegal loan sharks, a total of £3.5 billion, which jeopardises their future financial stability.

Families are already having a difficult time making their payments. Since October of last year, total personal debt arrears have more than quadrupled from £1.8 billion to £3.8 billion, and JRF anticipates that these arrears will continue to grow as interest rates rise.

Unsettlingly, the research discovered that the government is making life extremely difficult for people by exploiting the benefits system to collect some debts, sometimes at exorbitant rates. Families receiving assistance without these “debt deductions” suffer less than those who are obliged to have them.

JRF has suggested a simple way to ease the burden on these claimants: allow them to repay their debt more slowly while the cost of living crisis is ongoing, rather than cutting their income by a quarter every month.

And Universal Credit entitlements should increase to ensure that – at a bare minimum – people are able to afford the essentials when they fall on hard times.

This is, of course, entirely logical. The benefit system is intended to ensure that people don’t fall into debt at all – not simply to make them prey to loan sharks at a slower speed.

But we’re seeing no announcements about this from Rishi Sunak or Therese Coffey.

All we’ve had are big headlines about payouts to everybody, including £400 for every house – meaning people who own multiple dwellings receive that amount many times, in comparison with the poor who only have one.

This Site has stated it before: it’s a big subsidy for the rich. And the fact that the poor are being driven to loan sharks makes it all the more obscene.

Source: Tory cost of living crisis made worse by a decade of welfare cuts

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:



  1. Jeffrey Davies June 30, 2022 at 10:33 am - Reply

    Yet whot about electric standing charge march 29 p or so now 58 p hmm the tories are taking backhy and jobs for the boys of these thriving pension funds who buy up our utility companies this lot will not take a k those utilities company so more suffriy to come

  2. El Dee July 1, 2022 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Many who are on benefits due to illness/disability spend proportionately more time at home. They use more energy and this means their bills are always higher to start with. But now the Tories have decided to allow fuel to go thru the roof they have zero protection. The amounts given to those on benefits will vary, be given at times that don’t make sense and are likely going to be swallowed up in the insanely high cost of other living expenses. Instead of the windfall tax they could have capped the cost that oil/gas producers were selling for – this would prevent the knock on effect into food as well. This is a deliberate decision, not an oversight. And worse than simply holding down benefits it is now the case that those on the ‘extra’ amount of ESA (about £80/wk) won’t get this when transferred to UC. They say their income will be ‘preserved’ until UC comes up to meet it – which is likely to take many years of increasing poverty – BUT if there is ANY change of circumstances in the meantime they will go to the basic rate. And a change of circumstances could be WORSENING health or it could even be a change of address!!

    It’s not an oversight, it never is. It’s deliberate cruelty done ideologically. I spent years in the Civil Service and this is how politicians operate. This will all happen and, if they choose, they will blame the Civil Service for how it’s rolled out – all of that is decided by politicians and they will have been well warned of ‘unintended’ consequences..

Leave A Comment