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Families on the brink
6:00am Saturday 23rd March 2013 in News
THE Lord’s Larder is bracing itself for more people knocking on its door asking for help as the squeeze on personal finan-ces reaches breaking point.
The introduction of the Universal Credit system later this year will see people on benefits receive just one payment rather than several spread out over the month, leading to fears that some will not be able to budget.
The Lord’s Larder, run from the Forefront Community Centre in Chard, provides basic shopping for people referred to them for support by GPs, social services and churches.
Scheme chairman John White said: “There’s the danger that with just one monthly payment and this amount of money in their hand some will think Christmas has come early and emb-ark on a spending spree, leaving nothing for the rest of the month.
“This could result in a constant stream to the Lord’s Larder for food until the next pay cheque.
“Since the story in the News last week I’ve already had two people confirm to me that they’ll have an inability to manage a month’s money responsibly and that one monthly payment will result in excessive heaving spending.”
Mr White said he and his volunteers were expecting their services to be needed more and more in the months ahead.
“Changes to the benefit system with the introduction of the Univer-sal Credit, plus the fact that average combined energy costs per customer per year is around £1,300, leads me to think it’s going to be a very busy time for the Lord’s Larder,” he said.
“I can’t help but think that once again some people on the fringes of society will continue to have to make a choice between heating or eating.”