Universal Credit payments to be worth less than what they were in 2013 if uplift is axed | Personal Finance | Finance

Universal Credit payments are tailored to claimants circumstances, with higher amounts awarded for elements such as raising a child or having a disability. However, payments across the board received a £20 per week boost in early 2020 as Rishi Sunak set out plans to tackle coronavirus.

This increase was meant to only last a year but as the pandemic raged on, many organisations and charities called on the Government to extend the support.

Many have warned millions of families across the UK could be severely impacted if the uplift is removed and this was recently exemplified by Citizens Advice Scotland.

According to a briefing released by the organisation on February 10, the real-world calue of Universal Credit could be reduced dramatically if the £20 uplift if removed.

As they detailed: “As a result of lower-than-inflation uprating between 2013 and 2015 and the benefits freeze from 2016 to 2019, UC’s standard allowance has fallen below its original value in real terms.

READ MORE: Savings account: Bank releases ‘highly competitive’ interest rate

As it stands, it is unclear whether the Government will extend the uplift but according to the Times, the Prime Minister is planning to support Rishi Sunak in a cabinet split over an extension to the £20 per week uplift for six months rather than a year.

Reportedly, the Chancellor is locked in a battle with Thérèse Coffey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, over when the uplift should be removed.

Thérèse Coffey addressed the uplift in late January when she was questioned on BBC Breakfast, confirming the following: “In November I said to the House of Commons that we would review this in the New Year, that is exactly what we are doing.

“We are hand and glove with the Treasury working to make sure we provide the best support to people throughout this pandemic.

“I can assure you that we are under active consideration of the options on how to best support people at this time.”

When asked if she was personally lobbying for the support to continue, Thérèse replied with: “I can assure you it is top of my priority list.”

Universal Credit demand rose throughout 2020 as the pandemic continued to impact the economy.

In order to be eligible for the support, claimants will need to be on a low income, be aged between 18 and state pension age and have less than £16,000 in savings.

With the current £20 uplift in place, the standard allowances for Universal Credit are as follows:

  • £342.72 per month for single claimants under 25
  • £409.89 per month for single claimants aged 25 or over
  • £488.59 per month for coupled claimants who are both under 25 (for both)
  • £594.04 per month for coupled claimants where either of them are 25 or over

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