Dignity or Destitution Report

5th February 2021

The ‘Dignity or destitution’ report from the Trussell Trust found that keeping the £20 Universal Credit uplift, and extending it to legacy benefits, will provide an anchor from poverty for those who need it most – providing essential financial security and helping to protect local economies in some of the poorest regions. It is a crucial step in moving towards a hunger free future for the UK.

Summary findings:

  • The £20 uplift to Universal Credit has been a lifeline to millions – helping the people who need it most
  • Plans to remove the uplift could push a million people to foodbanks
  • By introducing the uplift, the government recognised that pre-pandemic benefit levels simply did not pay enough to cover the cost of essentials
  • The government must lock in the uplift over the long term to help turn Universal Credit into the poverty fighting machine we know it can be
  • The government must not fail the millions of people living with disabilities who may find additional barriers to employment  – and extend the uplift to legacy benefits


Some facts and figures:

  • 56% of households that access foodbanks are on Universal Credit
  • In Aug 2020 there were 1.7 million families with children claiming Universal Credit (a 42% increase since March 2020)
  • In 2019/20 Trussell Trust foodbanks gave our 1.9 million emergency food parcels
  • In the same year 720,000 foodbanks were given to children

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