CHANGES to the Universal Credit system don’t go far enough, according to one suffering Swindon mum who is struggling to feed her family.

Plans to extend a benefits cap on families of more than two children to include those born before the system began in April 2017 have been scrapped.

Amber Rudd, the government’s work and pensions secretary, announced that the move was made in order to help create what she called a more “compassionate and fair” system.

But mum-of-four Christine Gregory, who has just been diagnosed with ME and has a prolapsed disc in her spine, said those were not the words she’d use to describe the scheme.

She said: “I try to budget but sometimes I’ve had to go to food banks to feed my children and go without meals to ensure they can eat.

“I worked in social care as much as I could to put food on the table but I’m off sick at the moment due to chronic fatigue, which I think was triggered by the stress of this system.

“Because of this, I’m not hitting their £542 income target so I hit the benefit cap and they take hundreds of pounds from my benefits payments. They can see me deteriorating and still push me into work.

“The old system was much better and this one doesn’t support people with disabilities, it’s a demoralising and degrading nightmare. I feel trapped in a situation I can’t get out of.

“I’m still determined and ready to work but this disability limits what I can do and there’s no sympathy or compassion from the people at the jobcentre.”

Children born before the new system began in April 2017 would have been retrospectively included in the benefits cap for families with three children or more, but they will now remain exempt.

On the same day this news broke, four working single mothers won a High Court challenge against the government’s scheme by successfully arguing that a problem with it left them struggling financially.

North Swindon MP and DWP minister Justin Tomlinson said: “Having invested an additional £4.5bn into the Universal Credit, this is a further welcome announcement as we continue to work closely with stakeholders to improve the system.

“We have already announced the two weeks additional money for both Housing Benefit and ESA, JSA or Income Support, improvements to both Advance and Alternate Payments, the roll out of the landlord portal and the national contract for Citizens Advice to offer support within all job centres.

“Universal Credit remains an integral part of delivered tailored, personalised support, helping us secure record employment levels in all parts of the country.”