National debt counselling charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has responded to the Government’s budget announcement and is particularly frustrated to see another temporary extension to the £20 UC and Tax Credits uplift.
CAP’s CEO, Paula Stringer, reacted to the news; “The Chancellor set out welcome measures to protect jobs and livelihoods but alone they will not protect living standards. A six month extension to the UC uplift is simply not enough for millions of families facing the brunt of this pandemic financially and for the millions living in poverty before this crisis”.
Those most impacted by the pandemic are those who have lost loved ones, lost jobs and borne the risks of working on the frontline for low wages. This budget brings long-term certainty for businesses, with sensible tapering of support to help them transition into the recovery, but households have not been afforded this – when furlough ends, many will need Universal Credit right at the time when it will be cut back.
“Even before the pandemic, many people on these types of benefits were struggling to make ends meet. In the coming months, many more people will find themselves out of work or relying on UC to boost their low wages. The increase is still needed despite the planned rise in the national living wage.”
“The announcements have focussed on future investment. They have not taken away the fear and anxiety millions are facing because of their limited finances. It will not provide people living on low incomes with certainty that they will be able to keep food on the table and heat their homes in the future.”
“Those on legacy benefits (JSA, ESA or Income Support) were also overlooked again in this budget, which is disappointing given the Chancellor’s priority to support the most vulnerable. These are often people who are sick or have to care for a family member. We want the Government to take urgent action and ensure they’re included in the £20 uplift as well.”
Paula finished by saying; “We’re urging the Government to think again, do the right thing, and provide hope and certainty to those most in need during the difficult years ahead by making the uplift permanent.”
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK charity determined to reduce UK poverty delivering debt counselling, money management, job clubs, life skills groups and support for people breaking life-controlling habits.
Find out more about Christians Against Poverty on their website www.capuk.org