The government has brought back plans to cut £20 a week from the incomes of Britain’s poorest people – but there is still time to stop them.
The £20 ‘uplift’, worth over £1,000 a year in total, was added to universal credit as the pandemic started. This has been a lifeline for people who have lost their job because of coronavirus, and research shows that it has saved more than half a million people from falling into poverty.
But despite the crucial support it provides, the chancellor Rishi Sunak plans to remove the £20 from people’s wallets in October.
This comes at a time when the UK is still holding its breath, waiting to see if coronavirus cases will rise again in the autumn. 1.9 million people were still furloughed by the end of June, with many of them facing redundancy as furlough winds down further.
The number of people claiming benefits has doubled over the course of the pandemic, from three to six million people. The cut in universal credit will throw many more children and adults into poverty.
This isn’t the first time Rishi Sunak has tried to take away people’s £20 that they need to buy food and other essentials. But when he announced that the money would be cut in March 2021, Ripples supporters joined forces with people across the country to stop his plans and got him to delay the cut for six months.
Now we need to fight for the £20 to stay permanently.
“I have been in receipt of universal credit this year. It is too small an amount to live on, particularly during a time of mass long term unemployment.”Fiona, London
“I work in a local food bank and we are really worried that we will not be able to cope with the extra demand both for food and monies for fuel too.”Mike, Devon
“To plunge people living on benefits into even greater poverty would be an outrageous act of injustice.”Linda, London
“I receive UC and the uplift has made a surprising difference. I would find things very difficult if it were taken away.”Rebecca, London
“Universal Credit was inadequate to start with, compared to legacy benefits. The extra £20 goes some way to addressing this and should be permanent.”Robert, Brighton
“I don’t want to live, fairly comfortably, in a country where we are indifferent to people living in poverty.”Pam, London
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