A single mum believes the Universal Credit benefit system 'lacks common sense' because getting a better job has left her in debt.

Hollie Wilson, 34, says she would be better off working in a supermarket for eight hours a week, rather than trying to use her university degree.

She says that the controversial benefits system means she is being punished for trying to get back in to work "two years early."

Hollie, a mum-of-two from Yeovil, told Somerset Live that she faces having to pay more than £800 for her youngest daughter's nursery fees with a credit card.

Hollie left her job in Tesco to take up a role in the town using her degree in Italian.

She says changing jobs means she could lose hundreds of pounds from Universal Credit, leaving her going to a food bank for help and borrowing more money to pay for childcare.

"A single parent on Universal Credit is unlikely to have a huge income, but one trying to better themselves by getting a new, better job, is now £70 a month in debt," she said.

“The government wants to get women back into work after having children, yet they have been the opposite of helpful with me."

The Department for Work and Pensions said the system was providing a "vital safety net for people on low wages" and that Hollie received £2,300 in Universal Credit in January It also said she was "free to look for other work that utilises her degree."

But the mum of two said she received £1,007 in January while her bills without food or petrol come to £1,056 a month.

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Universal Credit has caused huge problems for people

She said: "It would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic. We all know how awful the effects of UC have been on thousands of people nationwide.

"It is not fit for purpose; many people are thousands of pounds worse off a year, but worse, people are actually dying due to its effects."

Hollie applied for help with February’s £820 nursery fee on January 17.

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Afterwards she said: "I’ve been offered £300 and I can apparently visit a food bank if I come back in and apply for a hardship scheme.

"The way my assessment period works I’ve been deducted £300 from my Universal Credit payment today.

"If they did it from the beginning of the month to the end then I could have kept £250 of December’s wage and £250 of January.

"Instead, they say I’ve been paid twice in one month so they’ve deducted £300.

"I’m also in debt to them by nearly £70 a month to pay back the loan I took out to cover January’s nursery bill.

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"I genuinely would have been better off financially not bothering to even get the Tesco job because now she’s (her daughter) in nursery already they won’t pay for anything to help me.

"I honestly wish I didn’t apply for it but it’s too good an opportunity to pass up.

"It’s just so disheartening that I’m now in debt and will be struggling with money for the next month or two to the point that I might have to use a food bank in order to have a better job/life for my family.

"I’m feeling really stressed about it and can’t believe there isn’t a better option for women with children who get stung by huge nursery bills when they start a new job."