Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has criticised the government's decision to end the Universal Credit uplift.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the £20 top-up was only introduced to help people through the pandemic. It was extended by six months in March, but various MPs, charities and campaigners have called for it to continue through the winter.
CAP's Social Policy Manager, Rachel Gregory, said the government's decision will "directly harm so many households across the UK".
"Citizens Advice is warning that at least 2.3 million people will fall into debt," she added, "and we are braced for a surge in demand for free debt help from ourselves at Christians Against Poverty and other debt help charities.”
Universal Credit is claimed by more than 5.5 million households in the UK.
In recent weeks, CAP, alongside Church Action on Poverty, has seen over 1,100 church leaders write a letter to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, raising their concerns. Over 2,700 of CAP’s supporters and those directly affected also wrote to their local MP to urge the Government to keep the lifeline.
Gregory added: “The overwhelming support for this issue shows just how important it is to millions of people. We want the Government to urgently reinstate the uplift and use the upcoming Spending Review to consider the investment needed to make sure social security is a strong lifeline for everyone through a cost of living review.
“We are gearing up to offer free debt help to as many people impacted by this cut as we can. We will continue to advocate for positive action to be taken so those experiencing financial hardship have the opportunity to live with dignity, without fear and anxiety, recover, and have hope restored in their lives.”