Universal Credit households 'could get £1,000' payment when Rishi Sunak removes uplift


The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the temporary uplift, worth £1,040 per year, to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit in March last year, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As the covid crisis rages on, millions are no doubt left wondering whether the one-year boost will come to an end as planned this year.

However, it has been suggested the Chancellor could cut the temporary measure as planned, resulting in a £1,040 per year reduction to the Universal Credit standard allowance.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has warned cancelling the uplift would push 200,000 more children into poverty.

Meanwhile, campaign group Child Poverty Action Group has said stated the £20 per week uplift is crucial to ensure “low-income families with children receive the support they need”.

In an effort to draw a line under the row, Mr Sunak has drawn up plans to give a one-off payment of £500 or perhaps £1,000 to all Universal Credit recipients, the Financial Times reports.

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Last month, Express.co.uk spoke to Will Quince, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), about Universal Credit, and the one-year uplift, during an exclusive interview.

Asked whether the Government would commit to an extension of the measure, he said: “I think the Chancellor has been clear that he hasn’t taken the decision and all options are on the table.

“But he initially brought in what was a temporary measure for 12 months and he’s been clear, and I think he said this as such in the recent statement as part of the Spending Review, that in the early part of the new year, he’s going to review this in the broader context and then make a decision.”

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Mr Quince added: “But what I would say is, both myself and indeed the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions are working really closely with the Treasury, discussing all of these issues.

“I’d also say, the Chancellor so far, throughout this pandemic, has not hesitated to support people facing the most financial disruption.

“And in particular, supporting the poorest and most vulnerable in our country.”

Jonathan Reynolds, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “Under the Conservatives, families come last.

“The government’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic means Britain is facing one of the worst recessions of any major economy.

“Boris Johnson’s decision to cut Universal Credit will hit millions of families who are already struggling to get by.

“There cannot be another repeat of the government’s indecision and mismanagement of the free school meals scandal.

“The government must put families first during this lockdown and act now instead of waiting until the last minute.

“If ministers refuse, Conservative MPs have the opportunity to vote with Labour and give families the support they need to get through this pandemic.”





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