Pressure is mounting on the government to ‘do the right thing’ and keep the Universal Credit uplift

universal credit rishi sunak
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Calls have increased to keep the uplift in Universal Credit, amid predictions of a downturn in living standards during 2021.

According to new research by the Resolution Foundation, removing the uplift could push thousands of households into poverty as the UK continues to deal with the economic effects of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Karl Handscomb, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said:

The living standards outlook for 2021 looks bleak at present – but the Government can directly improve it.

Deciding if the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit should be extended will determine whether millions of households are able to enjoy any sort of living standards recovery next year. And looking further ahead, the decision on whether to keep the UC boost will help define whether this is to be a parliament of ‘levelling up’ living standards, or pushing up poverty.

Removing the uplift

Estimates say cutting the Universal Credit uplift could cost six million families around £1000 a year. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), the cut will disproportionately impact disabled people, BAME people, and people on lower incomes.

The Resolution Foundation predicts that lower incomes will fall during 2021-22, with those in the tenth percentile of income distribution falling by 10%, and those in the twentieth percentile falling by 5%.

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Along with this, it predicts increasing unemployment and removing the £20 uplift in Universal Credit could cause 1.2 million more people to fall into poverty. This includes 400,000 children.

The foundation forecasts that this could lead to 23% of people in the UK living in relative poverty by 2024-25.

Campaigning to keep the uplift

Calls have been increasing over the past few months to maintain the uplift in Universal Credit. In October, several organisations, including the JRF and End Child Poverty Coalition, urged the chancellor to keep the extra payment:

The uplift began in April 2020, but is currently due to end in spring 2021. So far, Rishi Sunak has not committed to keeping the temporary increase.

Labour is putting pressure on Conservative MPs to support it continuing. Ahead of the debate on 18 January, shadow chancellor Annelise Dodds said:

Today I call on all Conservative MPs to do the right thing and vote with Labour to [cancel the cut] to Universal Credit. After the worst recession of any major economy, the Government should be supporting families through this crisis. Instead it’s hitting them in their pockets.

The economic future of the UK

In November, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasted UK GDP to grow by 5.5% in 2021. However, the economy is not likely to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022, according to the Bank of England.

In the meantime, the number of UK households receiving Universal Credit has increased, with half a million more families claiming between April and August 2020.

More of these families on benefits are relying on them to make up shortfalls in rent alongside day-to-day living costs than in previous years.

The government has told conservative MPs to abstain from voting this evening in the Universal Credit debate. Despite this, some have pledged to vote with the opposition, with Stephen Crabb, former work and pensions secretary, saying extending the increase is:

the right thing to do.

Featured image via YouTube/Telegraph & Flickr/Paisley Scotland

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  • Show Comments
    1. Pressure is mounting on the government to ‘do the right thing’.
      and keep the Universal Credit uplift.
      //
      Just to AKS Tory D.W.P. Minister + Boris + Sunak where the hell
      Were you all at the live debate on SCAM U-Credit yesterday?
      Held In H.O.Commons possibly holding up the Parliament Beer BARS?
      //
      While a young arrogant well-off mum’s boy your understudy
      for Tory Govt D.W.P. Minister ranted s**t plus p**s taking us public
      voters that need the extra cash of £20.00 in his prophetic speech live from front bench I watch all his hypocritical words plus rant to over parties within Govt?
      //
      He may not need the cash because of rich parent that pay for everything he may do within Tory party Not including his NON education (to speak in public to voters properly) But take the pee out of poor people the understudy of Tory Minister will not be forgotten by us public now after yesterday’s C**p from him over.
      The much needed £20.00 payment within U-Credit benefits plus E.S.A. legacy.
      Payments –If this is the new Tory party members up Brining members M.P.s after running our country.
      You Tories will or maybe never have power again in Govt after next G.E. TIME Boris, you need to train your understudy’s better to deal with live debate in H.O.Commons the kid yesterday–yes a wet behind the ears Kid in the U-Credit debate get NO pass or education marks for me as a taxpayer or voters Boris I that has 40 + years on his contempt towards the poor plus low paid workers in the U.K. in U-Credit debate yesterday 18.1.2021 his C**p cost you voters Boris.
      You will need for next G.E. if Tory wish to stay in power.
      FINALLY –
      Boris ALL the Minister involved in any Dept Debates within H.O.Commons live should be at the front bench them self to be held accountable not young arrogant rich KIDS telling us public + voters what to do. This problem needs addressing now before any more live Debates IN Parliament run by Tory Minister Boris.

    2. UPDATE–
      Pressure is mounting on the government to ‘do the right thing’.
      and keep the Universal Credit uplift.
      //
      Just to AKS Tory D.W.P. Minister + Boris + Sunak where the hell
      Were you all at the live debate on SCAM U-Credit yesterday?
      Held In H.O.Commons possibly holding up the Parliament Beer BARS?
      //
      While a young arrogant well-off mum’s boy your understudy
      for Tory Govt D.W.P. Minister ranted s**t plus p**s taking us public
      voters that need the extra cash of £20.00 in his prophetic speech live from front bench I watch all his hypocritical words plus rant to over parties within Govt?
      //
      He may not need the cash because of rich parent that pay for everything he may do within Tory party Not including his NON education (to speak in public to voters properly) But take the pee out of poor people the understudy of Tory Minister will not be forgotten by us public now after yesterday’s C**p from him over. The much needed £20.00 payment within U-Credit benefits plus E.S.A. legacy. Payments –If this is the new Tory party members up Brining members M.P.s after running our country.

      You Tories will or maybe never have power again in Govt after next G.E. TIME Boris, you need to train your understudy’s better to deal with live debate in H.O.Commons the kid yesterday–yes a wet behind the ears Kid in the U-Credit debate get NO pass or education marks form me as a taxpayer or voters Boris I that has 40 + years on his contempt towards the poor plus low paid workers in the U.K. in U-Credit debate yesterday 18.1.2021 I could educate him the error of his ways to the less well-off low paid workers that need this cash help his C**p cost you voters Boris. You will need for next G.E. if Tory wish to stay in power.
      FINALLY –
      Boris ALL the Minister involved in any Dept Debates within H.O.Commons live should be at the front bench them self to be held accountable not young arrogant rich KIDS telling us public + voters what to do. This problem needs addressing now before any more live Debates IN Parliament run by Tory Minister Boris.

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