Removing Universal Credit uplift will hit the most vulnerable

published on 9 Jul 2021

The Salvation Army’s Lieut-Colonel Dean Pallant said: “We are urging the Government to reconsider removing the Universal Credit £20 uplift as we are concerned that vulnerable families will struggle to make ends meet. 

“The Government worked hard throughout the pandemic to protect the most vulnerable people. Schemes like the furlough, the Universal Credit uplift, rental eviction protection and the ‘Everyone In’ drive to shelter rough sleepers protected millions from illness and extreme poverty. We agree with the emphasis on creating jobs and developing skills. However, the Government must think carefully before removing these safety nets. 

“It’s also important to remember that many people were struggling within the Universal Credit system before the pandemic hit. 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. 

“Moreover, even before the pandemic, The Salvation Army noticed an increase in people using food banks to feed their family so they could pay back Universal Credit accrued debt.  

“Moreover, we still don’t know the full impact that the pandemic and unemployment is expected to rise from the current 4.8% pushing more people onto Universal Credit.”