Ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) affirmed yesterday in Parliament that they would reduce the amount paid in universal credit in the coming months.
Asked by the SNP's Hannah Bardell "to do the decent thing" and make the £20 a week increase in universal credit payments introduced in April 2020 during the pandemic permanent, work and pensions minister Will Quince responded:
"The Government has always been clear that the £20 increase was a temporary measure to support households affected by the economic shock of COVID-19."
The £20 uplift, equivalent to £1,040 a year and costing the Government £6 billion, had been due to end on 31 March 2021 only for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend it by another six months that same month.
Scrutiny also came from SNP's Allan Dorans, who argued in the House of Commons that removing the increase would "push more families into deprivation".
Quince responded by quoting the £100bn spent on benefits and the extra £7.4bn pumped into the benefits system during the course of the pandemic.
He added that the Government would switch its focus to getting people back into work through initiatives like its £30bn ‘plan for jobs' scheme.
Universal credit is due to be decreased by the end of September 2021.
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