Disappointment over uncertain future of £20 Universal Credit uplift

published on 4 Dec 2020

In September, The Salvation Army joined a coalition of NGOs and Bishops expressing concern that the removal of the increase would leave millions of people already facing hardship, even more vulnerable.

Job losses are at 1.6 million as of September and a million more are expected by the middle of 2021, according to the Government's economic watchdog. Coupled with the economy facing deep recession, those in financial distress are once again met with uncertainty in how they will manage.

The extra £20 is a lifeline to many who could now face a choice between feeding their families or heating their homes. The uncertainty about this much needed extra money doesn't just affect people financially, it can have a crippling effect on people's health and wellbeing.
Lieut-Colonel Dean Pallant

In November, The Salvation Army, alongside 16 partner organisations, called for Universal Credit loans (Advance Payments) to be included in the Government's Debt Respite Scheme by writing to the Economic Secretary to the Treasury. The proposal put forward the ask to allow people to repay debt rather than automatically deducting money which many will struggle to pay.

Whilst the Government has indicated that it is planning to include Advance Payments in the Debt Respite Scheme, due to IT constraints, they will be included on a ‘phased basis’ and no specific timeframe has been given. The Salvation Army is concerned a significant delay means thousands will be pushed into debt before then.  

As with these most recent developments, The Salvation Army will continue to work with Government and other partners across the political and charitable spectrums to ensure that everyone is able to successfully access and use Universal Credit for long as is required

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