At the unveiling of the Government’s Budget on 3 March, the Chancellor announced that he has decided to cut Universal Credit (UC) incomes by £20 a week in six months' time. This means support will be whipped away at the same time that the furlough scheme ends.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (which is linked in a group structure with JRHT) has branded this move “simply unacceptable” arguing that it is still not too late for the Chancellor to do the right thing: announce an extension of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit that was brought in at the start of the pandemic for at least the next year.
Before the Budget, JRF set out five tests to judge whether the measures announced would deliver for people living poverty. Its new analysis shows that the choices made by the Chancellor on social security, housing, and the economy do not pass those tests and risk pulling people into poverty as a result.
JRF has been running a major campaign on the issue in partnership with dozens of national and local charities and sympathetic MPs. Its campaign team are currently considering their next steps following the budget but securing a U-turn from the Government will be an uphill battle.
If you are concerned about the impact of the cut to Universal Credit on your finances it may be worth discussing it with our Money and Benefits advisor well ahead of the change in September.