A charity CEO has spoken about the moment she was warned by a lottery official to stop criticising Universal Credit and the government.
Ellie Waugh of Humanity Torbay told how said she was paid a visit by an official of The Big Lottery Fund which is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
During the visit, she claimed the person told her not to express any more of her opinions about Universal Credit or the Government, and if she did, she wouldn’t receive any money.
It was a threat she did not take lightly, shortly after she posted a video furious about what the official had told her.
She said: “I’m speaking out because I’ve been threatened and I’ve been told to keep my mouth shut.
“I’ve been told to keep my mouth shut about universal credit. I’ve been told we won’t get any grants if we say anything.
“As the CEO of Humanity I have decided to speak out and say this is not right. People should know what’s going on.
“I don’t think people realise just how bad it is at the moment. More people are finding themselves homeless and on the street due to universal credit.”
Trustee Shirley Holbrook said she was in the room when the lottery official allegedly made the statement.
Shirley said: “She said categorically if we were to receive a big lottery grant we would be unable to speak out against Universal Credit or any other government measure that affected our clients adversely.
“We are not a political organisation. We speak out about homelessness because we deal with the results of it every day.”
In a statement released to Charity Today, The Big Lottery Fund told us: “We are concerned to hear about recent events relating to an organisation we have previously funded – Humanity Torbay.
“The Big Lottery Fund does not withhold funding from any organisation on the basis of what they say publicly on social issues. We fund thousands of projects that are run by organisations who campaign on a range of topics or issues. We do not prevent any grant holder from voicing their views on an issue that is important to them, their organisation or community.
“We are looking into how this could have arisen as a matter of urgency.”
Universal Credit is not working, and the government is not working for its people either.
Universal Credit is plagued with some significant failings, and despite this, the government is continuing to ignore all the warnings and is turning a ‘deaf ear’ says a public spending watchdog.
Esther Mcvey continues to convey the point that everything is designed to push people into work, she is clearly missing the fact there are a lot of people who are actually working and living below the breadline and relying on local food banks.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) added the department’s “fortress mentality” is seriously failing claimants who are struggling to adapt.
It said: “The introduction of Universal Credit is causing unacceptable hardship and difficulties for many of the claimants it was designed to help.”
Some 8.5 million people are expected to be receiving UC by 2023 but the committee said there was a “real risk that we will see claimants facing hardship on a much larger scale”.