Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget decision to cut benefits in September will “pull 500,000 people including 200,000 children into poverty” just as the country heads into winter, a major anti-poverty charity has warned.
Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit are set to return to pre-pandemic levels following the Spring Budget, frustrating months of campaigning from charities and support groups to protect some of the most vulnerable in society.
“The OBR’s latest forecasts show that unemployment is expected to increase by a further 500,000 people between now and the peak towards the end of the year,” according to analysis from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. “Despite that, the Government has chosen to cut the main rate of unemployment support to its lowest level since 1990.”
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It's unacceptable that @RishiSunak has decided to cut #UniversalCredit incomes by £20 a week in six months' time. This means support will be whipped away at the same time as furlough ends and will lead to hundreds of thousands more people being pulled into poverty. #Budget2021pic.twitter.com/a7WATA8PN8
— Joseph Rowntree Foundation (@jrf_uk) March 3, 2021
Universal Credit was increased by £20 per week in March 2020 to help families who were struggling to pay bills because of the economic impact of the pandemic.