Calls to extend temporary £20 Universal Credit increase ahead of March budget

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LauraHammond
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Calls to extend temporary £20 Universal Credit increase ahead of March budget

Post by LauraHammond »

A group of MPs are calling on the government to extend a temporary £20 a week Universal Credit increase ahead of the budget in March.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the increase in March last year, with the first payments being made the following month.

The increase was set to last for a year and is therefore due to come to an end next month.

However, the Work and Pensions Committee wants the increase to be extended for at least another year.

Labour MP Stephen Timms, chair of the committee, said: "The Chancellor faces difficult decisions about the public finances. He may find it hard at present to make the increase permanent. But the pandemic’s impact on the economy and livelihoods will, sadly, be with us for some time. An extension for a year should be the bare minimum."

Universal Credit is a monthly payment made to people who are out of work or on low incomes.

It replaced six old benefits and merged them into one payment.

The benefits it has replaced are:
  • child tax credit
  • housing benefit
  • income support
  • income-based jobseekers' allowance
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • working tax credit
According to a report by the Work and Pensions Committee, the government has "given some indications that we may need to wait until the budget on March 3 for a decision" on Universal Credit.

You can read the Work and Pensions Committee's report here: https://committees.parliament.uk/commit ... o-poverty/

If you think you are eligible for Universal Credit, you can apply here: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

We would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Do you think the increase should be extended? Post your thoughts in the replies below and let us know what you think.


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