Chancellor Rishi Sunak has outlined his coronavirus economic recovery plan in the annual Budget. The Chancellor has announced billions in extra spending to aid the UK through the rest of the pandemic in line with restrictions set to ease in the coming months – including Universal Credit.
Back in March 2020, before coronavirus had even been announced as a worldwide pandemic by the WHO, Universal Credit was increased following mounting concern the virus was going to become prevalent across the UK.
One year later, the £20 uplift of Universal Credit has been essential for struggling families throughout the crisis.
Millions have been pushed onto the benefit throughout the past year following job losses, with unemployment currently at a five year high.
Some six million families have benefitted from the uplift, which gives claimants an extra £20 per week on standard allowances for their situation.
The Commons work and pensions committee has said keeping the higher rate for another year must be the “bare minimum”.
Its chairman, Stephen Timms, warned last month: “Without regular support, hundreds of thousands of families will be swept into poverty or even destitution. Government must end the uncertainty and commit to extending this lifeline.”
Labour MP Lisa Nandy said in Wigan Today: “A cut would be a mistake for families, for the economy and for our ability to effectively recover from the pandemic.
“This £20 a week is not saved by families but spent in shops and businesses, stimulating the economy.”