Feb 26, 2021

Budget 2021: 'My £20 is a lifeline - don't take it away'

Last April, Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced a £20 uplift to UC as part of his economic support measures, with Ester one of about six million people benefitting. Stephen Timms, Labour chairman of the Commons Work and Pensions Committee, says not extending payments would be "a failure to recognise the reality of people struggling". Professor Len Shackleton, research director at the Institute for Economic Affairs, a free market think tank, says the top-up did not distinguish between people in need after losing jobs due to lockdown and longer-term benefits claimants. Ron Graham has a message for Boris Johnson: "If you need to make cuts, [UC] is the wrong place to look. You won't have faced my circumstances, but £20 means so much to people in my position." It's wrong, says Resolution Foundation chief executive Torsten Bell, to emove £1,000 a year from more than six million people at a time when unemployment is set to reach its peak.

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