Thank you for contacting me about the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits.
As I am sure you are aware, this extra support was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those likely to be facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. The Government has also introduced measures such as mortgage holidays and additional support for renters, and has worked with energy suppliers to protect those struggling with energy bills.
I welcome that, on top of the planned uprating, the Government is extending the temporary £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance until the end of September 2021. This measure will apply to all new and existing Universal Credit claimants, and means that the additional support will remain in place well beyond the end of economic restrictions.
The Government is also making a one-off payment of £500 to eligible WTC claimants across the UK, to provide continued extra support over the next six months.
I know my colleagues in the Department for Work and Pensions remain focused on supporting people by helping them get back into work through the Government’s Plan for Jobs.
The £2 billion Kickstart scheme has already seen over 145,000 vacancies created from a range of different sectors for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit, without thousands of young people already in Kickstart roles. This will give young people the practical experience that we know is so crucial in securing sustainable employment. Furthermore, the £2.9 billion Restart scheme, commencing on 28 June 2021 and referrals to providers starting from 12 July, will provide intensive help to over a million jobseekers who have been out of work for over 12 months.
I will share my constituents concerns with Ministers and am grateful to you for taking the trouble to write.