Thank you for writing to 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, Rishi Sunak, 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 including mortgage holidays and additional support for renters, and has also been working closely with energy suppliers to protect and support those struggling with energy bills.
The Government has said that it is waiting 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 an absolutely unprecedented £280 billion package of such help and support.
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.
The Department for Work and Pensions remains 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.
For more information please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme
Please be assured that I will pass the concerns you have raised with me on to my ministerial colleagues as they consider future policy.
Thank you again for writing to me about this very important matter.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking