Thank you for contacting me about the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits.
As I am sure you are aware, this extra support was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. The Government has also introduced measures such as mortgage holidays, additional support for renters and has worked with energy suppliers to protect those struggling with energy bills to support those who need it most.
It is right that we wait for more clarity on the national economic and social picture before assessing the best way to support low income families moving forward. The uplift is one of a range of measures which have been put in place to support jobs and livelihoods as part of a £280 billion package.
As I understand the situation, the statutory annual review of benefits does not include the need for a decision on the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits. Under the existing arrangements, the uplifts remain in place until the end of March. I am assured, however, that the Government will continue to assess how best to support low-income families in the economic and health context, and that decisions on the future of the uplift will be made later in 2021.
I know my colleagues in the Department for Work and Pensions remain focused on supporting people by helping them get back into work through the Government’s Plan for Jobs. This includes launching the Kickstart Scheme, which is backed by a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully funded jobs for young people.
I will, however, pass the concerns you have raised with me on to ministers as they consider future policy.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP