Universal Credit: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 24th September 2020.

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Photo of Kate Osamor Kate Osamor Labour/Co-operative, Edmonton

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Change Director General & Senior Responsible Owner Universal Credit, Neil Couling’s statement to the Resolution Foundation on 27 May 2020 on supporting new claimants affected by the covid-19 outbreak, for what reason the Government initially sought to provide the uplift to universal credit only to people claiming universal credit since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The uplift to Universal Credit is available regardless of claimant start date and not only those claiming since the start of the covid-19.

We currently spend over £95 billion a year on working age benefits, including Universal Credit, and remain committed to supporting the most vulnerable in society.

In March 2020, following the outbreak of COVID-19, the Government took unprecedented economic intervention to support jobs and people across the country, which has been supported by additional welfare spending of over £9.3 billion across a number of areas. For example, the uplift for all Universal Credit claimants, as well as Local Housing Allowance rates including the Shared Accommodation element, were increased to cover the lowest 30% of local market rents, benefiting over one million households by £600 a year on average.

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