9 February, 2021
We're pleased to see that, after holding evidence sessions, the Work & Pensions Select Committee is urging the government to maintain the £20 Universal Credit weekly uplift.
Last week, the charity’s Head of Policy Peter Tutton gave evidence to the Committee. Today, he commented:
“We welcome and strongly echo the Select Committee’s findings, which clearly show just how important it is to keep the £20 uplift to Universal Credit.
"Removing the uplift would mean 74% of StepChange debt clients on Universal Credit would no longer have enough money to meet their essential costs, pushing their average deficit from -£60 to -£147 each month. This would leave more people facing agonising choices between paying their rent and feeding their families; skipping meals and turning to high cost credit just to get by.
“People’s finances have been suffering at the hands of this pandemic for nearly a year – coping strategies are exhausted, budgets stretched to their limit.
"If the uplift is withdrawn at this stage, those on Universal Credit will be faced with the lowest relative level of unemployment benefit in nearly 20 years, risking deepening inequality, threatening economic recovery and jeopardising levelling-up ambitions. It’s vital the uplift is kept.”