UK COVID: Universal credit £20 top-up to end
Therese Coffey has told MPs the £20-a-week top-up to universal credit will be “phased out” in the autumn. The cash boost was introduced in April 2020 to help deal with the economic fallout from the pandemic.
Work and Pensions secretary Therese Coffey said the change had been a “collective decision” by ministers.
But former Work and Pensions secretaries have urged ministers not to end the cash top-up.
More than 5.5 million households in the UK claim Universal Credit. The top-up was extended in March by six months and Labour wants to see the extension continue beyond autumn.
The 20-a-week extra cash has made a massive difference for some families and has stopped people from falling further into poverty.
But Therese Coffey has said it would change in Autumn 2021 alongside other measures that were put into place to help those hit hardest by the pandemic.
“Ahead of October we will start communicating with the current claimants… to make them aware that will be being phased out and they will start to see an adjustment in their payments,” she said.
“We will be recognising that this was brought in with the temporary measures to support [people] during the pandemic.”
Universal credit is a benefit for working-age people, which was introduced to replace six benefits and merge them into one payment.
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