The Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, has welcomed the Chancellor’s extension of the furlough scheme until March 2021 and improved support for self-employed people through the increase in the forthcoming Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant.
The charity is now calling on the government to follow today’s move by announcing now the extension of its £20-a-week uplift in Universal Credit beyond April, to provide continued certainty of financial support for people who have already lost their jobs.
Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said: “The Chancellor acknowledged today that people need certainty – and today’s extension of furlough will come as a relief to millions worried about their jobs and financial futures as we go into this second lockdown. The increase in Self-employment Income Support Scheme payments will also give welcome certainty to those who are eligible – although the same eligibility gaps remain.
“Given the long-lasting economic impact of the outbreak, however, people need certainty well beyond just this winter. Just as today’s announcement provides some short-term certainty for staff and businesses forced to close, this needs to be extended to continued support for people who have already lost jobs or will lose them as a result of the outbreak.
“The Government should commit now to extending its changes to Universal Credit – including retaining the extra £20 a week increase well beyond April.”