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Universal credit £20 top-up will end this autumn for nearly 9,000 Harlow households

News / Thu 8th Jul 2021 at 07:56am

THE work and pensions minister, Thérèse Coffey, has confirmed that the pandemic universal credit uplift of £20 a week will be withdrawn as planned at the end of September despite widespread public and cross-party opposition to the move reports The Guardian.

There are 8,848 Harlow households on Universal Credit.

Coffey told a committee of MPs that she would be writing to all 6 million universal credit claimants before the planned withdrawal, warning them that they would see an “adjustment in their payments”. 

The government, which argues the uplift will no longer be needed as the economy opens up, was accused of risking putting low-income families’ living standards at risk, as households face rising inflation and the possibility of higher unemployment this autumn.

The full article can be found below.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/jul/07/universal-credit-20-top-up-will-end-this-autumn-mps-are-told

Retail trade union Usdaw has expressed deep disappointment with today’s confirmation, by the Work and Pensions Secretary, that the £20 uplift in Universal Credit will end in September, despite widespread opposition.

A survey by Usdaw found that 57% of workers on Universal Credit are struggling to pay their gas and electric bills. 80% said they would be worried or very worried if the Government removed the £20 weekly uplift. Usdaw again urges the Government to do the right thing by listening to low-paid workers who are struggling to make ends meet.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “It is unacceptable that nearly 6 in 10 workers on Universal Credit are struggling to heat their homes. Usdaw again calls on the Government to retain the £20 weekly uplift and tackle long standing issues with the Universal Credit system. Now is not the time to be removing this lifeline for low-paid workers and their families.

“Usdaw has also consistently called for the rollout of Universal Credit to be halted, to allow a full review and overhaul of how the Government supports the incomes of working people who are already struggling to make ends meet. We need a proper social security system that supports families, particularly during this appalling pandemic.”

Usdaw has long called for a fundamental reform of Universal Credit, including:

  • £20 additional weekly uplift made permanent.
  • Five week wait scrapped, by making advance payments non-repayable.
  • Two-child limit immediately removed so that welfare payments take all dependent children in a household into account when granting a claim.
  • Reducing the taper rate and increasing the work allowance to incentivise work.
  • Benefit Cap stopped.
  • Universal Credit payments, or at least the child elements of Universal Credit, paid to the main carer by default. This was a commitment made by the government in January 2019, but has still not yet been introduced. This has become even more urgent with the rise in domestic violence since the start of the pandemic.

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