Charities slam Sunak’s £20 a week raid on Universal Credit

In six months time, six million people will lose out on £20 a week.

Charities have hit out at the chancellor’s plan to cut £20 a week from Universal Credit in six months time.

In his budget, Rishi Sunak said the £20 a week coronavirus uplift would not be made permanent, so claimants income will go down in six months.

Citizens Advice Bureau, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and the UK’s biggest food bank provider the Trussel Trust all said the decision was unacceptable.

They added that those on legacy benefits, which pre-date Universal Credit, should get the £20 extra too.

The JRF said: “This means support will be whipped away at the same time as furlough ends and will lead to hundreds of thousands more people being pulled into poverty. It is also totally indefensible that people who are sick, disabled or carers claiming legacy benefits continue to be excluded from this vital support.”

Citizens Advice said: “Six million people now face a cliff-edge in the autumn. Those claiming Universal Credit are still set to see their income cut by £20 a week – this vital lifeline whipped away just as unemployment is set to peak. Rishi Sunak must reconsider and keep the uplift for at least a year.”

The Trussell Trust added: “Today’s budget fails to give families on the lowest incomes the ongoing protection they need. The 6-month extension to the UniversalCredit uplift only delays hardship people will face in the year ahead. We urgently need the Chancellor to rethink this decision.”

SNP MP Neil Gray has previously told Left Foot Forward that this cut would push down out of work support to its lowest ever level relative to average earnings.

Joe Lo is a co-editor of Left Foot Forward

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