Universal Credit £20 boost 'to be extended while Covid rules are still in place'

The £20 Universal Credit boost, brought in to help struggling families in the wake of crippling coronavirus restrictions, will reportedly stay while Covid rules are in place.

The bump – an extra £20 a week, or £1,040 a year – was announced last April in a bid to help finance those who had lost their jobs or income during the pandemic.

The “temporary” rise is currently due to end on April 12, when the standard allowance will fall back down to pre-pandemic levels. The average household will lose £84 as a result.

Now, it has been reported that Chancellor Rishi Sunak doesn’t want to the make it permanent but is pressured by MPs and Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey to reconsider.

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Everything you need to know about £1,000 one-off Universal Credit payment
The “temporary” rise is currently due to end on April 12

A Government source is said to have told the Sun : “It’s not a binary choice between extending or not.

“All options remain on the table and ministers are working through them to find the best solution for families and those on lower incomes.”

The boost was announced last April to help mitigate the impact of Covid
The boost was announced last April to help mitigate the impact of Covid

Reportedly Mr Sunak plans to announce at the Budget that the full measure will stay for a long as coronavirus restrictions are in place, and will then be phased out to help the most needy.

Meanwhile, on Monday it was reported that The Chancellor is in talks to give six million vulnerable households a one-off £1,000 Universal Support grant under plans to scrap the £20-a-week lifeline in April.

Sources said the initiative would replace the £1,040 a year Universal Credit increase.

It’s understood that as many as 6million people could qualify for it, with Rishi Sunak claiming it could help reboot the economy.


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