Ending the Universal Credit uplift at the same time as furlough puts the vulnerable at risk
published on 2 Sep 2021
The Salvation Army is one of the signatories of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Keep Our Lifeline campaign urging the Government to reconsider ending the Universal Credit Uplift of £20 at the end of this month.
Lieut-Colonel Dean Pallant said: “The furlough scheme, the Universal Credit uplift, rental eviction protection and the ‘Everyone In’ drive to shelter rough sleepers has protected millions from illness and extreme poverty during the pandemic. We agree with the emphasis on creating jobs and developing skills. However, removing the Universal Credit uplift at the same time as the furlough scheme ends, risks pushing more vulnerable people into poverty.
“Many people were struggling within the Universal Credit system even before the pandemic. For a number of years, we have been calling on the Government to remove the five-week wait for Universal Credit, (which forces many people to take out a bridging loans to survive while their claim is processed). Repayments are then deducted from Universal Credit payments.
“The Salvation Army has noticed an increase in people using food banks to feed their family, so they could pay back Universal Credit accrued debt.
“With furlough due to finish at the end of September and the full impact that the pandemic yet to be felt and unemployment expected to rise from the current 4.8%, pushing more people onto Universal Credit, we would urge the Government to think carefully before removing this safety net.”