StepChange responds to 6-month extension of £20 Universal Credit uplift

It has been reported that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak will, subject to approval from the Prime Minister, extend the £20 uplift to Universal Credit for a further six months.

Reacting to the news, Richard Lane, Director of External Affairs at StepChange Debt Charity, said: “If reports are correct, this would be a welcome step from the Government, which will have thousands across the country breathing a collective sigh of relief – the uplift has been essential in enabling many people to continue paying their bills and feeding their families. However, a six month extension risks simply kicking the can down the road, leaving households to face significant uncertainty when unemployment is expected to be at its peak.

“Covid has caused widespread and long-term financial difficulty which is exhausting households’ coping strategies. With financial resilience low, it is vital that an adequate safety net is there to prevent people from falling into significant hardship. The Government can shore up this safety net by committing to a longer-term extension of the £20 uplift, alongside other short-term measures, such as extending the covid winter grant and bolstering support for renters to protect households from the looming threat of eviction.”