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by Louise Wilson
21 July 2021
Cross-parliament call to keep £20 Universal Credit uplift

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Cross-parliament call to keep £20 Universal Credit uplift

Four committees across the four parliaments of the UK have urged the UK Government to keep the £20 uplift to Universal Credit.

A cross-party letter signed by representatives from Holyrood, the Welsh Senedd, the Northern Irish Assembly and Westminster said the uplift should be made permanent and extended to legacy benefits.

Universal Credit was increased at the start of the pandemic to help struggling families make ends meet.

But it is due to revert to pre-pandemic levels at the end of October.

Calls to make the change permanent have been increasing in recent months, with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation warning 500,000 people could be pushed into poverty if they lose the £1,040 extra annual income.

The UK Government have already extended the temporary uplift, which was initially due to come to an end last year.

Convener of Holyrood’s Social Justice and Social Security Committee, Neil Gray, said: “The UK Government did the right thing at the start of the pandemic to increase Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit to give better support to people during these incredibly challenging times.

“But removing the uplift in October would have devastating consequences for our most vulnerable in society, who have been hit hardest by this pandemic.

“This risks sending many more people into poverty at a time when we should be doing all we can to support them.”

The letter has also been signed by Stephen Timms MP, chair of Westminster’s Work and Pensions Committee, Paula Bradley MLA, chair of Stormont’s Committee for Communities, and Jenny Rathbone MS, chair of the Senedd’s Equality and Social Justice Committee.

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