Universal Credit: Reynolds says uplift ‘wrong thing to do’
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During the pandemic, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the Government would raise Universal Credit payments by £20 a week to help those struggling financially. According to figures from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), around five million people across the UK were claiming support through the benefit scheme by February 2021.
However, during his budget announcement earlier this year, Mr Sunak announced the uptick will only last up to the end of September.
On Sky News, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds says cutting the Universal Credit uplift is the “wrong thing to do”.
He continued: “Half of the current Universal Credit claimants are in law paid work, it’s an in-work benefit and the prime minister knows this, and misleadingly doesn’t always present it in this way, same with the chancellor.
“There’s also a group of people who can’t work through illness or disability.
Many MPs urge chancellor Sunak not to remove the Universal credit uplift (Image: GETTY)
“I’m absolutely clear we should be supporting those people as well.
“For all of those households, whether they are in work or out of work, they need this support.
“It’s not a huge amount of money but it is a lot to people on those low incomes.
“It’s also very clear to me that it will be the wrong thing for the economy to take that money away.”
Universal Credit is overseen by the DWP as a benefit which can help people on a low income, out of work, or unable to work.
It can assist these individuals in managing their day to day finances and covering costs which can quickly rack up.
Due to the pandemic, many people found themselves hit financially and badly affected.
The Government saw this and decided to step in to rectify the issue and provide Britons with further support – the temporary uplift.
The Universal Credit cuts will leave millions of families £1000 down each year (Image: GETTY)
However, millions of Universal Credit claimants have been told via text message that their benefits will be cut this month as the Government ends the £20 uplift.
Despite the opposition from charities, opposition parties and even its own MPs not to remove the increase, it will go ahead.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation conducted research on the impact that the Universal Credit cut will have on claimants.
By removing the uplift approximately 500,000 people, including 200,000 children, will go into poverty.
Around 61 percent of respondents admitted it would be harder to afford food after the proposed change to Universal Credit.
But benefit claimants continue to receive text messages confirming the cut would still be going ahead and telling them to plan for this change.
The payments are to drop by £20 a week, or around £1,040 per year, from October 6.
In defending this decision, the Government has argued focus now needs to shift onto getting people back into work.