Jeremy Todd, Chief Executive of Family Lives, responds to ‘Most families 'will gain nothing' from Universal Credit, new report says:’

“A recent Family Lives report ‘Families Matter - the realities of family life in Britain today’ found that families' biggest worry is making ends meet with over 50% of respondents stating that their family finances were in a worse state than last year.

Ensuring that families can manage their household finances whilst attempting to return to work should be a clear priority and dovetails with broader government aims to support family life.  Financial worry has been linked to a greater likelihood of mental health problems and increased vulnerability to family breakdown and divorce.  The costs of both of these things to the state are considerable and the government should act to ensure that Universal Credit is not dragging parents – particularly single mums - into a vicious cycle of debt and hardship which will have associated high costs for society.  To not do so would risk undermining broader welfare reforms intended to enable more parents back into work. 

For further advice parents can call Family Lives' free confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222 or go to 

Jeremy Todd, Family Lives Chief Executive