Halifax mum says she has to wrap her kids in duvets during day to keep warm as MP warns rising energy prices and Universal Credit cut is hitting working families

A Halifax mum has spoken of having to wrap her children in duvets to keep warm at home during the day because she can not afford soaring energy prices.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 2:30 pm
MP Holly Lynch says she has been contacted by scores of worried families

The mum-of-two, who requested to remain anonymous, says money is a constant worry since fuel costs started rising and a £20-a-week Universal Credit boost was cut.

“My head is just all over the place with worrying about money,” she said.

“That £80 a month meant that we could top up the gas and electric. We could make ends meet. I don’t know what we’re going to do now.”

The university-educated single mum has applied for more than 20 jobs but is struggling to find one that she can fit around looking after her children.

She has had to sell her jewellery in order to get by.

“I can’t bear to think about this winter,” she said. “No one should be living like this.”

The Courier launched its Keep Us Warm This Winter campaign last month amidst warnings that the increase in energy prices coupled with the removal of the Universal Credit uplift - which was introduced to get families through the pandemic - could leave many Calderdale people facing financial hardship this winter.

MP for Halifax Holly Lynch last month told Parliament that a staggering 56 per cent of the town’s working families with children would be hit by the Universal Credit cut.

She says scores of worried families have been in touch with her about the £20-a-week loss.

“The Government’s recent cut to Universal Credit shows that they simply do not understand what a lifeline it has provided to working people across Halifax,” she said.

“Since August, I’ve been contacted by 65 extremely concerned local families about the impact of the cut and their worries that they will now not be able to get by.

“I’ve shared these experiences with the Government in the House of Commons but it has fallen on deaf ears. The Government’s inability to resolve the energy crisis has only compounded the hardship faced by constituents.

“This Conservative Government’s policy choices are driving many families in Halifax to have to choose between putting food on the table or turning on the heating this winter.”

Charities across Calderdale who help the area’s most vulnerable have told the Courier they are bracing themselves for a steep rise in demand for their support, fearing the financial and mental strains of the pandemic will only be exacerbated by these latest challenges.