Universal Credit

Treasury written question – answered on 14th January 2022.

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Photo of Ruth Jones Ruth Jones Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to restore the £20 universal credit uplift.

Photo of Simon Clarke Simon Clarke The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

The government has always been clear that the £20 per week increase to Universal Credit (UC) was a temporary measure to support households whose incomes and earnings were affected by the economic shock of COVID-19.

There have been significant positive developments in the public health and economic situation since the uplift was first announced. Now that the economy has reopened, the government is focusing on supporting people to move into and progress in work.

To continue to boost employment, wages and living standards, the government is continuing or enhancing the most successful Plan for Jobs schemes and introducing a new package of measures – taking the total DWP spend on labour market support to more than £6 billion over the next three years. This includes investing over £900m each year on work coaches, who will provide effective support to help job seekers on Universal Credit move into work and, for the first time ever, help people progress once in work, and funding for the Kickstart scheme, which has so far supported over 112,000 young people into Kickstart jobs.

The government has also taken decisive action to make work pay by cutting the Universal Credit taper rate from 63p to 55p, and increasing Universal Credit work allowances by £500 a year. This is effectively a tax cut for the lowest paid in society worth around £2.2bn in 2022-23 and strengthens incentives to move into and progress in work. 1.9m households will keep, on average, around an extra £1000 on an annual basis.

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