A struggling mum who receives just £16 per month in benefits says she has resorted to living off pancakes.

Julie Harper, 52, worked for M&S until she was made redundant during the pandemic and has been struggling to make ends meet since.

She now dreads being evicted from her Worcester home and is even considering having her dog put down in order to keep costs down,.

Julie used to get £155 month in Universal Credit payments, but after her daughter left home, her carer’s allowance was taken away.

Her two other children also moved out in September, meaning she has been lumped with a £116.18 bedroom tax.

Once the money is deducted from her benefits, before payments are taken for her housing, Julie she is left with just £16 per month.

Describing how she feels “forgotten”, Julie said: “It’s embarrassing, I’ve had to put shopping back at the till because I don’t have the amount to spend. You go home and don’t feel human.”

Julie says she can only afford milk, eggs, flower, bread and butter, and says she sometimes goes days without food unless she has enough ingredients to make pancakes.

She has the added pressure feeding her pets, which has forced her to turn to food banks.

“When you look at them and they’ve only had a piece of toast a day it doesn’t make you feel like a good person,” Julie added.

Faced with increasing veterinary costs, vets have now offered to put down her German Shepherd free of charge if she cannot afford the medication.

Julie previously told Worcester News: “My kids have moved on and left home but I have lived in my house for 22 years, I do not think I should be punished just because my children have left home.

“I simply cannot afford my bills on just £16 a month of Universal credit, I am at the end of my tether.”


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