The £20-per-week increase to universal credit will be “phased out” in the autumn.
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told MPs the boost which was introduced in April last year to help deal with the economic effects of Covid – would face an “adjustment”. Ms Coffey said the change had been a “collective decision” by ministers.
Ms Coffey told the Commons Work and Pensions Committee that it would change this autumn alongside other measures put in place to help those affected by the pandemic. She said:
“Ahead of October we will start communicating with the current claimants to make them aware that the top-up being phased out and they will start to see an adjustment in their payments.”
Campaigners say the extra money – which is worth around £1,000 a year – has, for some families, made the difference between just getting-by and falling further into poverty.
The top up was extended by 6-months in March, and Labour has called for it to continue beyond the autumn. At the weekend six former Conservative work and pensions secretaries wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, urging him not to end the uplift.
One of the signatories to the letter,Sir Iain Duncan Smith said:
“A failure to act would mean not grasping this opportunity to invest in a future with more work and less poverty – and would damage living standards, health and opportunities for some of the families that need our support most as we emerge from the pandemic.”