Universal Credit: Thomas Hunt MP calls for ‘permanent’ uplift
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Universal Credit underwent an increase of £20 per week due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Government said this is a short-term temporary measure, and plans to end the uplift in October. MPs have agreed the uplift should be made permanent.
MP Thomas Hunt spoke on GB News today and said: “Universal Credit is a much better system than other systems we have had in the past that encourages work. But I think it has continued to be a safety net for those who generally need it.
“The £20 increase has been a lifeline for families, and many we work with have told us they have relied on it to buy food and essentials for themselves and their children.”
He continued: “The Government says that work is the best route out of poverty – but many families receiving Universal Credit are already working, and if this cut goes ahead, even more children and families will be pushed into poverty and hardship.
In a letter to Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State Department for Work and Pensions, Minister Hargey also expressed her disappointment that the additional support is being removed, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister Hargey said: “I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to retain the £20 uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits.
Universal Credit uplift is of vital importance to support people on low-incomes (Image: GETTY)
“The importance of additional support for individuals and families has been absolutely critical throughout the pandemic.”
She added: “This continues to be the case for many households who continue to suffer the acute financial pressures and impacts of job losses and increased debt.
“The Universal Credit uplift is of vital importance to support people on low-incomes and to allow the economy to rebuild.
“It has been a lifeline for some of the most vulnerable people in our society and removal at this time will cause great distress and financial hardship.”
Universal Credit is a payment designed to help those out of work, unable to work or who are on a low income.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) agreed that every person receiving UC should receive an increase of £20 per week due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, this uplift was always supposed to be a short-term temporary measure.
Originally it had a planned ending in March 2021, but this was further extended until October.
Many MPs have written to the chancellor in hope of the uplift becoming permanent (Image: GETTY)
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.
Dan Paskins, Director of UK Impact at Save the Children commented on the situation.
He said: “We are pleased to see the chairs of four welfare committees from around the UK, call on the Chancellor, to keep in place the £20 a week increase to Universal Credit, past September.
“The £20 increase has been a lifeline for families, and many we work with have told us they have relied on it to buy food and essentials for themselves and their children.
“The Government says that work is the best route out of poverty – but many families receiving Universal Credit are already working, and if this cut goes ahead, even more children and families will be pushed into poverty and hardship. All children deserve to grow up with the opportunities they need to develop and thrive.
“Now is the time for the Government to listen to the growing number of voices expressing support, and abandon plans to cut Universal Credit this autumn.”
Universal Credit has proven a vital safety net for six million people throughout the pandemic.