Parliamentarians say £20 a week increase in Universal Credit should be permanent

Date: 30th July 2021
Category: Child poverty, Social security and childcare

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Chairs of four welfare committees from around the UK say removing the temporary top-up would affect families on the lowest incomes and therefore, the measure which is planned to end in October should remain.

Signed by Labour's Stephen Timms at Westminster, the SNP's Neil Gray for Holyrood, Paula Bradley of the DUP for Stormont and Welsh Labour's Jenny Rathbone at the Senedd in Cardiff, they say: "Ending the uplift would mean that the six million people claiming Universal Credit will lose £1,040 in annual income overnight.”

Joseph Rowntree Foundation has estimated that removing the uplift would force 500,000 people, including 200,000 children, into poverty. Families on the lowest incomes, those with children and particularly single parents, Black and Ethnic Minoritised families, and families where someone is disabled will be disproportionately affected.

The letter also calls for the extra £20 a week to be extended to people on legacy benefits - which were created before universal credit.