Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North
Sep
16

Temporary Universal Credit Uplift

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 16 September 2021 16:21

A number of constituents have contacted me regarding the temporary £20 Universal Credit uplift. I do appreciate the seriousness of this issue for some of my constituents and I'm grateful to those who have contacted me to let me know that it affects them.

 

As people are aware, the £20 uplift to Universal Credit (UC) was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those likely to be facing the most financial disruption during the pandemic.  I do think it has been clear all along that it was temporary, and it was sensible as an emergency response.  I also think it is right now to look ahead at what is needed after the pandemic, and to plan for the future.

In particular, as the country re-opens, the Government is focused on getting people back into work and has announced a multi-billion pound plan for jobs, in order to support people in the long-term by helping them learn new skills and increase their hours or find new work.  The £2.9 billion restart scheme will provide help to over a million jobseekers who have been out of work for over 12 months.

Claimants of legacy benefits can make a claim for UC if they believe that they will be better off. However, claimants should check their eligibility before applying to UC as their legacy benefits will end when a claim to UC is submitted. Legacy benefits were increased by £600 million from April 2020 and received a further £100 million increase from April 2021 as part of the Government’s annual up-rating exercise.

 The Government is also making a one-off payment of £500 to eligible WTC claimants across the UK, to provide continued extra support over the next six months. You can see more on this here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-one-off-500-payment-for-working-households-receiving-tax-credits

 

I know that the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) remain focused on supporting people by helping them get back into work through the Government's Plan for Jobs.

  

I would add that the Government has also introduced other support measures such as mortgage holidays and additional support for renters, and has worked with energy suppliers to protect those struggling with energy bills.  

The programme, which supported children during Easter and this summer, will continue to do so during the Christmas holiday in 2021, costing up to £220 million. It is available to children in every local authority in England and builds on previous programmes, including last year's that supported around 50,000 children across 17 local authorities. The holiday provision is for children who receive benefits-related free school meals.

For further information on what other support is available please see the helpful links below.

 

I can assure constituents that I will look very closely at everything to do with welfare in Parliament in the coming weeks.  There will be a Spending Review, where the Government will look at how taxpayers' money is used across everything, in the autumn.  That is where I expect the full way forward out of the pandemic and beyond to be laid out. 

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