Young people 'at risk of repeat homelessness' if £20 Universal Credit uplift cut, charities warn

·2-min read

Cutting the £20-a-week Universal Credit increase will put young people at risk of repeat homelessness, more than 40 charities have warned.

They have written a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him not to remove the Universal Credit (UC) uplift at the end of the month.

Led by Centrepoint and End Youth Homelessness, the letter says the increase has been a "lifeline" after it was temporarily introduced to help claimants during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is due to be phased out from the end of September.

However, the move is opposed by six former work and pension secretaries, charities, think tanks, teachers and MPs across the political spectrum.

Removing the increase will be a challenge for all claimants and will leave young people facing "impossible choices" between paying bills and buying food and being at risk of repeat homelessness, the letter says.

Centrepoint chief executive Seyi Obakin said the increase is "without doubt the best way" to keep vulnerable young people off the streets.

He said: "Cutting Universal Credit at the end of the month will mean some claimants are back to being forced to choose between paying the bills and buying food.

"This additional money has been a lifeline for young people in particular during the pandemic and removing it now, when a high number are still looking for work or struggling to get sufficient hours, is the wrong move."

A government spokesman said: "We've always been clear that the uplift to Universal Credit was temporary and designed to help people through the toughest stages of the pandemic. Now as the economy recovers it is right to focus on getting people into work and the economy back on track.

"Our £400 billion Plan for Jobs, which has already supported nearly 12 million jobs across the UK, is giving young people the skills and opportunities they need to get back into work, progress their careers and earn more."

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