Over 11,000 Harlow residents to lose their Universal Credit “lifeline” today

News / Wed 6th Oct 2021 at 06:11am

THE £20-a-week increase to universal credit, brought in to support those on low incomes during the pandemic, is being withdrawn today (Wednesday).

The government says that higher wages, rather than taxpayer-funded benefit rises, will be the better option as the country emerges from Covid restrictions. Yet, many MPs want the universal credit boost to be permanent.

According to Harlow Job Centre latest statistics there were 11,850 people on Universal Credit in the town, of which 5368 were in work.

In response to the pandemic, a temporary £20 increase to universal credit payments was introduced.

The scheme officially ends on 6 October.

However, the exact date the money will stop being paid will vary depending on the day you usually receive universal credit. 

The standard allowance for a single person aged under 25 is going to fall back from £79 a week to £59. That is a fall of 25%.

Compare that to a couple, where either one of them is 25 or over, and their allowance drops from £137 a week to £117 – a fall of 15%.

The calculations come from the Resolution Foundation, a think tank focusing on people on lower incomes.

Under the rules, universal credit payments become less generous as income rises. So, a £20 a week increase in wages will not make up for the reduced benefits income.

The withdrawal of the universal credit uplift is coinciding with increases in the cost of living.

The Bank of England has forecast that inflation (ie the rate prices increase) will rise above 4% in the coming months. This pace is unlikely to be matched by wage growth in many sectors of the economy.

Those price rises are being driven by necessities such as gas and electricity – just as the colder, darker days draw in.

There are also price rises being recorded among groceries and petrol.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng admitted many people could face a “very difficult winter”.

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3 Comments for Over 11,000 Harlow residents to lose their Universal Credit “lifeline” today:

tony edwards
2021-10-06 14:18:42

Not so much as "very difficult" for people on Universal Credit - more like "nigh on impossible".

gary roberts
2021-10-06 14:41:27

What a great speech by the clown, every one enjoyed it apart from those on UC, who are disabled, are economically poor, old and young. Or in short all those that don't have a billion to spare. Mind you I hear they are booking clowns for next summer on Broadway and this clown will be laughed at in his homeland. Hopefully they will keep him so that he cannot do anymore damage to the people of this once great nation.

2021-10-07 20:07:40

Cut back on booze, cigarettes, Sky tv, or better still get a job there are plenty out there!

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