Rishi Sunak confirms Universal Credit will be cut by £20 a week in October


UNIVERSAL Credit claimants will see their payments fall by £20 a week in October, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed.

The temporary boost, first implemented last year due to the coronavirus crisis, was extended by six months in yesterday’s Budget.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak speaking on BBC Breakfast earlier today

The government’s temporary coronavirus support for families on benefits is worth £1,040 a year and was supposed to only last a year.

Instead, claimants will continue to get the extra cash until the autumn.

However, campaigners had called for Mr Sunak to go further and said the boost should be made permanent.

But the Chancellor is said to be fixed on ending the uplift from October.

Asked today if he will extend it beyond another six months, Mr Sunak told BBC Breakfast: “No, we put this in place at the beginning of the crisis last year to help people in the national lockdown.

“Obviously the restrictions have gone on for longer than any of us would have hoped or liked.

“But six months’ extension to the Universal Credit uplift means it will be in place well beyond the end of this national lockdown.

“And remember, it’s just one of the things we’re doing to help people.”

Yesterday’s U-turn came as MPs, charities and campaigners warned removing the boost will plunge thousands of families further into debt.

The pandemic has pushed millions of more people onto the benefits system in the past year as businesses and employers have been forced to close.

As of January 2021, six million Brits were on Universal Credit, up from 2.8million in the some month a year earlier, according to government stats.

Everyone who claims Universal Credit gets the £20 a week uplift, regardless of what elements you are entitled to.

The cash has been added automatically to the standard allowance element for all Universal Credit claimants and can be viewed in online journals.

We explain seven other ways to get help paying bills if you’re on Universal Credit.

Universal Credit’s tax on workers should be cut to help struggling Brits back into employment, a new think tank report has said.

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