UK Credit

Universal credit cut “will put young people at risk of repeated homelessness”

More than 40 charities supporting young people in care and homelessness have urged the Chancellor not to remove the increase in universal credit (UC) at the end of the month.

Young people will be hardest hit by the removal of the £ 20 per week increase, according to the letter, led by Centrepoint and End Youth Homelessness.

The increase, which has been described as a “lifeline,” was introduced temporarily to help claimants weather the storm of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (Toby Melville / PA)

The government plans to phase it out from the end of September.

The move clashes with six former secretaries at work and pensions, charities, think tanks, teachers and MPs from all political backgrounds.

Removing the increase will be a challenge for all applicants and will leave young people with “impossible choices” between paying their bills and buying food and risking becoming homeless, according to the letter to Rishi Sunak.

Centrepoint chief executive Seyi Obakin said sustaining the increase was “without a doubt the best way” to keep vulnerable young people off the streets.

He said: “The removal of universal credit at the end of the month will mean that some applicants will again be forced to choose between paying the bills and buying food.

“This extra money has been a lifeline for young people especially during the pandemic and withdrawing it now, when a high number of people are still looking for work or are struggling to get enough hours, is not the right decision. “

A government spokesperson said: “We have always been clear that the increase in universal credit was temporary and designed to help people get through the most difficult stages of the pandemic. Now that the economy is recovering, it is right to focus on putting people to work and getting the economy back on track.

“Our £ 400bn jobs plan, which has already supported nearly 12 million jobs across the UK, is giving young people the skills and opportunities they need to get back to work, to move forward in their careers and earn more. “

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