BORIS Johnson has defended the government’s decision to phase out the Â£ 20 increase for universal credit users.
Current Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told MPs on Wednesday the increase would end this fall.
The prime minister was questioned on Wednesday evening by a liaison committee about the plan to remove the increase in payments that was made during the pandemic as additional support for those in need.
He said the government is focused on a âjob-drivenâ recovery from the pandemic and âgetting people to workâ.
Currently six million UK citizens are on the Universal Credit Allowance (UC) and 37% are already in paid employment.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader who oversaw the creation of UC is among six different former ministers who have called on the government to make the increase permanent to protect those most in need of support after the pandemic.
Sources said the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said the reduction would push half a million people into poverty, including 200,000 children.
The government admitted that it had no idea how many children would fall into poverty during the phase-out process.
The Prime Minister said that although everything is under “constant review”, his instinct is to continue the plan to reduce the increase in September.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak also defended the move, saying the increase was only temporary during the Covid crisis and is no longer needed.
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Labor MP Carolyn Harris told the BBC’s Politics Live show that the Â£ 20 represented a week’s food for some families and criticized Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell’s use of the term ‘distribute’ stating that the he UC benefit is not a charity.
Therese Coffey told MPs that the UC increase will end when the six-month extension ends in October.
She said that before October, “we will start communicating with current applicants to let them know that it will be phased out and they will start to see an adjustment in their payments.”