Derbyshire mum will have to stop paying for tutor for homeschooled son after Universal Credit cut
A Derbyshire mum whose autistic son is homeschooled says his education will be affected as a result of the Government’s decision to scrap the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit.
Samantha Adams, 36, told the Derbyshire Times she will be forced to stop paying for a tutor for her 11-year-old boy Oscar because of the controversial change to the benefit.
According to the Tories, the £20 top-up was always a temporary measure to help people through the pandemic.
The uplift removal, which kicked in this week, comes as many people are already struggling with the cost of living.
Samantha, of Stanley Common, said: “Oscar is autistic and is homeschooled because he simply cannot cope with school.
“I’ve been homeschooling Oscar on and off for the last few years – however he is in secondary education now so it’s very different to the primary work we had been doing.
“Losing the £20-a-week uplift for Universal Credit is going to leave me with having to stop paying for his tutor.
“This scares me a great deal because the tutor helps with his maths and English, which have changed so much since I was at school, making it difficult for me to teach him in the correct way. He only has an hour a week as it is.”
Samantha, who also claims Disability Living Allowance and Carer’s Allowance, added: “I keep hearing and reading ‘get a job’, ‘do more hours’ – but how can I do this? I am Oscar’s full-time carer, his teacher and mother – I can't go out to work.
“We use more gas and electric as we are home every day – not to mention he doesn’t get any help with free school meals because he is homeschooled.
“Yes, it was supposed to be a temporary payment but given how the prices of everything are rising massively we need the payment now more than ever.
“The Prime Minister needs to realise that this isn’t just a one-size-fits-all situation.
“£20-a-week is the difference between my son having any hope of an education or not.”
The Derbyshire Times put Samantha's concerns to the Government.
A Government spokesperson said: “We’ve always been clear that the uplift to Universal Credit was temporary.
“It was designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and it has done so.
“Universal Credit will continue to provide vital support for those both in and out of work and it’s right that the Government should focus on our plan for jobs, supporting people back into work and supporting those already employed to progress and earn more.”
Backing a call by footballer Marcus Rashford for the Government to abandon plans to axe the uplift, Keir Starmer said the reduction came ‘at the worst possible time because prices are going up’.
“This is going to drive families and children into poverty and for the Government to turn on the poorest as we come out of the pandemic is just so wrong,” the Labour leader told BBC Breakfast.