Saturday 23 October 2021
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Nottingham

Council Leader: ‘It’s the wrong time’ to withdraw £20 Universal Credit uplift

Around 38,000 Nottingham children will ‘lose out’ from the Government decision to end the £20-a-week uplift in Universal Credit, according to the city council leader.

Cllr David Mellen (Lab) described it as “the wrong time” to remove the cash from families as they deal with the prospect of higher energy and household bills.

The £20-a-week uplift brought in to support those on low incomes during the pandemic officially ended on October 6.

The government says higher wages rather than taxpayer-funded benefit rises are a better option but some MPs and councillors had called for the extra £20 to be made permanent or extended.

The standard allowance for a single person aged under 25 falls back from around £79 a week to £59.

For a couple, where either one of them is 25 or over, their allowance drops from around £137 a week to £117.

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In Nottinghamshire, the change will impact 58,770 families. In Nottingham city, 16,085 people will be impacted.

In a statement to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Cllr Mellen said: “Despite repeated lobbying from myself, other council colleagues and many others, the Government has gone ahead with taking £20 a week from Universal Credit recipients.

“In Nottingham 38,000 children will lose out because of the decision, taking up to £1,000 per year from local families, many of whom are in work.

“It is wrong that at a time when many families will be seeing the cost of their household bills rise that so many will have their incomes reduced by the Government.

“My message to anyone concerned in Nottingham is to get in touch with the council’s Welfare Rights Service who will provide you with whatever help and support they can.”

Speaking in September, Ben Bradley, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and Mansfield MP (Con) said: “This will be a difficult time for people and there is help out there such as the Warm Homes Hub.

“The £20 Universal Credit uplift was only ever intended as a temporary support measure, like furlough and other schemes for businesses which are coming to an end as well.”

He said the end of the uplift should not be seen as a cut and encouraged residents to seek support if they need it.

 

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