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Around 60% of households with a disabled adult will be hit if £20 week UC uplift scrapped

17 February 2021

A Government failure to renew the £20 a week Universal Credit (UC) top-up will more than 700,000 into poverty, according to a new  by the Fabian Society.

Ministers have said that they will decide in early March whether to keep or scrap the temporary 12-month uplift  payment, giving claimants less than a month’s notice of a £1,050 a year cut to their benefit.

The Fabian Society report shows how the cut to UC will reduce the living standards of households in many different circumstances:

  •  Households with a disabled adult will be hit by 57 per cent of the cuts (£3.7 billion per year)
  • Families with children will be hit by half the cuts (£3.2 billion per year)
  • Households where someone is a carer will be hit by 12 per cent (£700 million per year).

The Fabian Society says:

“Many people who are working or disabled will see a cut in their incomes of around £1,000 per year, even though in most cases there is no expectation that they should be seeking to work or to increase their earnings.

This raises fundamental questions of justice and morality. The chancellor should cancel the cuts and place the 2020 increases on a permanent footing.”

DR UK’s Welfare Rights and Policy Officer Ken Butler said:

Ths new study is the latest in a long string of reports warning of the impact of cutting the £20 week UC uplift.

The Work and Pensions Committee, bodies including the All Party Parliamentary Group for Poverty and the Women and Equalities Select Committee are all cross party groups who have forcefully called for the keeping and extending of the £20 per week uplift.

In recent weeks a group of leading health and care bodies and the Trussell Trust have added their voices.

The evidence is clear - removing the uplift will sweep hundreds of thousands of families into poverty or even destitution.

Those on legacy benefits, which includes over two million Disabled people, were not even included in the uplift.

The cost of extending the uplift is less than 3% of the £280 billion figure for total spending on Coronavirus support measures this year. It is a price that must be paid.”

The Fabian Society report Who loses? is available from fabians.org.uk.

See also the related Inclusion London report Locked Down and Abandoned: Disabled People’s Experiences of Covid-19.