What does the £20 cut in Universal Credit mean in York?

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, or recieve Universal Credit, you are probably aware that the £20 increase in Universal Credit is being cut. If not, we’ve got a quick summary:

In March 2020, as the country faced the pandemic and the impact on jobs and employment, the Government recognised that our benefit rates were too low to protect families at a time of crisis. So they did the right thing and increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £20 a week. However, the approximately 1.5 million families on legacy benefits (Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support) did not receive the £20 uplift.

Earlier this year, Helen wrote about why the £20 uplift was so important and how, once again, disabled people had been left behind and forgotten about.

But now as the Government stops the £20 uplift, families across the country are going to be badly affected:

  • Nationally around 5.5 million families receiving UC or WTC will lose the annual equivalent of £1,040 overnight this October.
    • In York this will affect 11,610 families.
    • In York Central, that means over ⅓ of families with children will be affected
    • In York Outer, it’s over ⅕ of families with children
  • Nationally, around 500,000 more people, including 200,000 more children, will be pulled into poverty this month as a result of the reduction. If the government kept this vital lifeline, it could prevent those people from being pulled into poverty.
  • If the £20 uplift was extended to those on legacy benefits, it could lift a further 100,000 out of poverty this year.

Of course not all families affected will be affected equally, and Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that families with children (particularly single-parent families), those containing someone who is disabled, and Black, Asian or minority ethnic families, will be disproportionately impacted by the reduction.

What support is there in York?

With furlough, the £20 uplift coming to an end and higher winter fuel bills already with us, money is going to be tight for many this winter. So to support people through this worrying time, a partnership of money experts have come together to host a month of activities, events and signposting to resources called Challenge Poverty – Talk Money Month.

There’s also a variety of ways of getting help with benefits including:

City of York Council Benefits and Contributions Advisers

They provide information, advice and support to people living in York about claiming the benefits they are entitled to.

  • Tel: 01904 552044 10.00am-4.00pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Email: incomeservices@york.gov.uk

Citizens Advice York

They provides advice on a wide variety of legal issues; including welfare benefits, money advice, employment, immigration, homelessness, housing, relationships and advice on other legal issues. Due to the effects of the Coronavirus they are unable to offer face-to-face advice but telephone advice is available by ringing their Adviceline. Please be aware that this number may be very busy so the quickest way to get help is online.

  • Adviceline: 03444 111 444 10.00am-4.00pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Universal Credit Help to Claim Service Tel: 03444 111 444, 8.00am-6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Leave a Reply