Our report explains how the government can make the safety net work for those experiencing financial difficulty and problem debt by:
- Ensuring support is adequate and sufficiently stable to allow people to meet living costs without experiencing financial difficulty and problem debt
- Overhauling the system of deductions in Universal Credit to repay debt to ensure the system supports, rather than undermines, sustainable recovery from problem debt
- Social security must support people to safely meet peaks in expenditure
This report is based on research using StepChange debt advice client data, a survey of StepChange clients and national polling.
We analysed data held on clients who completed a telephone or online debt advice session with StepChange in the first six months of 2019 – 190,484 clients.
We conducted a survey of clients between 13 November and 2 December 2019. The survey was sent to a sample of clients who receive at least one form of working age social security support, excluding those who receive only Child Benefit. We received 668 unique responses.
52% of respondents were single adults without children, 27% single parents, 13% couples with dependent children and 7% adult couples.
Large national poll conducted by YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4,972 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28th November - 2nd December 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). Some % totals in this document may not add up to 100% due to rounding.