Mum surviving on £16 a month considering putting dog down to cut costs

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A mum who was made redundant during the pandemic is struggling to live off £16 a month and is considering having her German Shepherd put down to cut costs.

Julie Harper worked for Marks and Spencer before losing her job during Covid.

The 52-year-old has since resorted to living off pancakes as she struggles to make ends meet and fears she will be evicted from her home.

The mum-of-three used to get £155 a month in Universal Credit payments, but after her daughter left home, her carer’s allowance stopped.

Her two remaining children 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 is left with £16 per month.

Describing how she feels “forgotten”, Julie, from Worcester, told The Mirror: “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.”

With her current budget, Julie said she only has enough money for basics such as milk, eggs, flower, bread, and butter.

There have been days when Julie said she did not eat at all because she did not have enough ingredients to make pancakes.

Feeding her pets has also added to her financial pressures and forced her to turn to food banks.

Julie said: “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.”

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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