Thérèse Coffey, the head of Universal Credit in the United Kingdom, has refused to extend the payment increase, despite the fact that cuts are scheduled next month.
In early 2020, UNIVERSAL CREDIT payments were increased by roughly £20 per week as Rishi Sunak attempted to assist families affected by the pandemic. The government has been pressed to prolong this temporary solution, but Thérèse Coffey announced today that the DWP will not do so.
In early 2020, Universal Credit payments were temporarily increased by about £20 per week, with the increased payments set to terminate in October 2021. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been encouraged to extend the help since the increase was introduced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, but this has been denied today by Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
The most recent calls came from a group of Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish ministers, who warned last week that the cut would be “the biggest overnight drop to a basic rate of social security since the modern welfare state began, more than 70 years ago.”
Dr. Coffey responded to their letter today, arguing that now that the economy is rebounding, the government should focus on bringing people back to work rather than prolonging government assistance.
“Now that the economy has reopened, it is appropriate for the government to focus on assisting people in returning to work and assisting those who are already working to advance in their careers,” Dr. Coffey added.
“Through our comprehensive £33 billion Plan for Jobs, we want to help two million people get into and advance in work.”
The government’s unwillingness to extend Universal Credit funding could affect thousands of families in the coming weeks, according to Citizens Advice, which estimates that the cut could drive 2.3 million individuals “into the red.”
Charlie Young, a Project Manager at Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice, explained how significant it may be: “So many of the families we serve are just scraping by. You can put them in the red by taking £20 out of their weekly budget. It’ll be disastrous.
“In the event of a cut, we’re preparing to provide extra crisis assistance. This includes food bank referrals, fuel vouchers, and assisting parents of infants and toddlers in obtaining diapers and milk.
“This kind of help is important, but nothing will be able to fill the hole that would be left in people’s budgets if that extra money isn’t available.”Brinkwire Summary News”.