Frantic mum’s letter to Southport MP over Universal Credit failure

11th January 2019

Universal Credit failing Southport Mum who writes in desperation to Southport MP for help.

OTS News received the following letter (which we print as written and unedited) today from a desperate Southport mother, who is struggling hard under the new Universal Credit scheme.

Attn: Damien Moore MP
Friday 11 January 2019

Melanie Houghton

“Dear Damien Moore,

Hope you are well, I have never written to my MP before, however I do feel that it’s time that I speak up for myself as a White British female citizen of Southport, Merseyside, United Kingdom.

I am a qualified social worker, with a Masters and a degree. I have invested heavily in my education to try to improve the quality of my life and my 2 children’s lives.

However since April 2018 and being placed on Universal Credits as I am a single mother, we have been forced to now attend food banks in Southport to be able to survive. The food at the food banks is not adequate, nor is feeding us left overs from the bakers a balanced diet .

I have not been able to work as a Social worker doing 50+ hours a week as I am the soul carer of my 2 children. The reason that I’m the soul carer is because the father of my children, now has a new family and he has been able to just walk away and leave me holding the baby.

So I then took a cleaning job in Southport, which was demoralising as I’ve invested 5 years of my life and money to become educated. However the cleaning job enabled me to collect my children from school and college. The cleaning job was a 9 – 3 job so it fitted in with being a responsible mother.

I do not have any family support and this is why I have to always be in 2 or 3 different places at once.

On top of my parenting commitments , I also have a chronic disease called Multiple Sclerosis. This incurable desease that I have effects my ability to walk and I’m also blind in my left eye. So there for my job as a cleaner was actually not appropriate, as I was then having to sleep for 12 hours after each day , to recover and then be able to shop , cook , clean , school run , dog walk , house maintenance.

I live in my own house with a mortgage, I am paying interest only as that is all that I can barely afford. I can’t get help with housing as I have a mortgage. So I’m already receiving approximately £700 less a month than other single mothers.

I have been to the doctors in desperation and the doctor has now signed me off with anxiety and depression again, due to my awful circumstances of being a single mother in the UK.

My universal credit journal now states that I’m only going to receive £300 this month, which as you can imagine only incited more fear and anxiety as to how me and my children are going to survive. Which then triggers my Multiple Sclerosis and just compounds the problem.

I’ve filled in my Universal credits journal asking them how I am meant to be surviving and wondered if you had any suggestions rather than the next step , which is begging on Lord street , Southport, Merseyside, United Kingdom.

However I don’t think that is the sensible option obviously for many socialy acceptable reasons.

The school that my daughter attends in Norwood Primary School , Southport and they are aware that apparently it is now normal and acceptable for me and my children to attend food banks . I’m very concerned as to the long term effects that this experience is going to have on my children’s future , as we also have to go with out heating most days and we have no carpets anymore on our stairs and landing, my bedroom or my sons bedroom. The reason we have no carpets is due to wear and tear after 10 years of being down . My sons mattress is also inadequate on his bed as it’s very thin and I do not have the funds to replace it .

I could go on about the conditions and fear that we are living in , but I know you are a busy person and I do feel that from what I’ve already written, provides you with some insight of what is going on behind closed doors in Southport, Merseyside, United Kingdom.

I do hope that you find time to reply to me as this is a very desperate and worrying situation that I find myself in as a mother of 2 children. “

Yours sincerely,

Melanie Houghton

Latest news…

Government set for more criticism over Universal Credit as mums win a groundbreaking legal battle

Latest news sees Single mums winning High Court battle against the Universal credit fiasco

The BBC has reported that four working single mothers have won a High Court challenge over the government’s universal credit scheme. The BBC says …

‘The women say they are struggling financially because of variation in their monthly payments. They argued a “fundamental problem” with the scheme meant their monthly payments varied “enormously”, leaving them up out of pocket. Lawyers for the women said the problem was likely to affect “tens of thousands of people” claiming the benefit.’

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd recently announced another embarrassing U-turn over the Tory flagship policy, ditching plans to extend a benefits cap on families of more than two children.

Pat Regan ©