For some people, making ends meet at the end of each month is a routine. Others, however, end up having no money in the most unexpected ways. A single mum-of-four was forced to live on toast for a month in order to feed her kids after her benefits were abruptly slashed. Cassie McTaggart, from Burton, East Staffordshire, stopped receiving Healthy Start vouchers – intended for the poorest benefit claimants to buy milk, baby formula, fruit, and vegetables – without warning in September this year. That month was a living nightmare for her, but she did the best to provide for her family. However, she fears it might happen again.
Unbelievably, Cassie sacrificed her own food and lived on a single loaf of bread a week for a whole month. She needed to do this in order to buy food for her six-month-old daughter and three young boys, aged five, seven and eight.
“I’m concerned that the most vulnerable people are being persecuted by the Government,” she says, speaking to the Derby Telegraph.
“My Healthy Start vouchers were revoked without warning and I didn’t realize until the following month when I was short of money. I lived on a single loaf of bread a week for the whole month so I could feed my children hot food and provide for them properly. Some days I went without food completely as I always put the children first.”
She continues: “If they had informed me that the vouchers were going to be revoked I could have at least prepared for it. But I had no warning whatsoever and I suffered for it physically and mentally. I lost a lot of weight and I felt very stressed and depressed. It was a horrific period and I don’t know how they expected me to feed my children.”
The 31-year-old mother actually never received an apology or full explanation about what happened. The people responsible for the process simply told her there had been an ‘error with their systems’.
“I’ve heard stories about people waiting up to six weeks for their benefits. There’s no way we could survive six weeks without money. The Job center has already told me to prepare and start saving money for the transition period. But I haven’t got any money to save, that’s the problem.”
Her vouchers were reinstated the following month. However, she fears that she will experience the same thing again.
Here‘s another story of another single mother who got lucky on the lottery.