Universal Credit claimants will get £67 extra each month after certain age – can you?
Raising income tax could cover Universal Credit uplift says MP
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It’s estimated that twice as many people are claiming Universal Credit compared to before the pandemic as more and more people have lost jobs or had their hours cut.
Nearly six million people are currently eligible to claim for help with everyday living costs and the amount someone receives will depend on whether they are single, part of a couple or a family with children. People who are single and under 25 receive the least amount of help – a monthly allowance of £344 – but this increases by £65 when they reach 25-years-old.
This increase in Universal Credit for those 25 and older happens automatically and is not dependent on whether their circumstances change.
It means that they will start to receive £411.51 when they reach 25 even though their cost of living hasn’t increased.
It’s the same for couples who are claiming the benefit, if a couple is under 25 they would receive £490.60 for both of them.
However, when one partner reaches the age of 25 this increases to £596.58 – so again it’s a rise of more than £65 even though nothing else has changed.
For those just about to reach this milestone it could be a lifeline – as the £20 Universal Credit uplift looks set to be scrapped in just over a week’s time.
It’s a controversial move with only 10 percent of people supporting the cut, according to research from Opinium for the New Economics Foundation (NEF).
Its analysis also shows that the reduction will leave many single adults with only 54 percent of the income they need to stay afloat, based on the UK’s Minimum Income Standard.
This is before energy price increases take their toll on household finances.
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It’s a similar story for couples and families – the research found that couples with two children will have just 63 percent of the income they need to survive after the uplift is removed.
Over the last decade, £14 billion has been cut from the social security system – the £20 uplift, which cost around £6 billion, only replaced half of this cut the think tank claimed.
Its data shows that when the uplift is removed, 21.4 million people, including seven million children, will live in households that do not have the amount they need to afford all the basics.
And some people think it’s only going to get worse.
Sarah Arnold, Senior Economist at the New Economics Foundation, said: “The UK is in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, and it is due to sharpen significantly for those on the lowest incomes over the next few months.
“Millions are set to be hit by a triple whammy of price increases for food and energy bills, welfare cuts and tax rises – all at the same time.
“Most worryingly for the five million families on Universal Credit, their support will be cut by up to £1,040 a year from next month.
“The UK safety net is already one of the weakest both among advanced economies and in the UK’s own post-war history.”
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However, despite its unpopularity the cut to the Universal Credit uplift looks set to go ahead on October 6 this year. Citizens Advice illustrated how different age claimants will see their standard allowances drop:
By a quarter for single claimants under 25, from £344 to £257.33
By a fifth for single claimants over 25, from £411.51 to £324.84
By 17 percent for joint claimants under 25, from £490.60 to £403.93
By 14 percent for joint claimants over 25, from £596.58 to £509.91
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