Scrapping of Universal Credit uplift to impact thousands

Scrapping of Universal Credit

Figures suggest thousands of people in Redditch will lose nearly £1,000 a year as the Government axes a pandemic-driven benefits boost Wednesday

The Government will axe a pandemic-driven benefits boost Wednesday and thousands of people in Redditch will lose nearly £1,000 a year as a result, figures suggest.

The decision to end the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift has faced strong opposition, with the first ministers of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales among high-profile politicians and campaigners who have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to scrap the contentious proposals.

In a letter, the leaders said there was no rationale to justify cutting crucial financial support at a point when people across the UK are facing an unprecedented squeeze on their household budgets.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures show there were 8,306 people claiming Universal Credit in Redditch in July according to the latest available data. Of those, 57% were not in work.

According to anti-poverty campaigners, they are among more than 5.8 million claimants across the UK who may face a struggle to make ends meet.

Anti-poverty charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said the end of the uplift represented the biggest ever overnight cut to social security and claimed the Government’s decision could plunge up to half a million people into poverty.

Katie Schmuecker, from the JRF, said: The Prime Minister is abandoning millions to hunger and hardship with his eyes wide open. She added the decision flies in the face of the Government’s mission to unite and level up our country.

People’s bills won’t get cheaper from Wednesday and families are already anxious about how they will get through a looming cost of living crisis, she said. This decision shows a total disregard for the consequences.

A Government spokesperson said: We’ve always been clear that the uplift to Universal Credit and the furlough scheme were temporary.

The spokesperson said they were designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and they have done so.

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