South Lincolnshire Citizens Advice chief officer warns that millions of people face a "financial cliff edge"
An uplift to Universal Credit set out by the Government is set to be extended, but there are concerns that this will leave millions “facing a financial cliff edge”.
As part of the 2021 budget, the £20 uplift, which was introduced last April, will be extended until September, in a bid to help millions of households whose finances have been impacted by the pandemic.
However, there are concerns that the benefit extension will only delay problems.
Simon Richards, chief officer for Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire, said: “It will be a huge relief for people on Universal Credit to not face a cut to their benefits next month. But with a challenging recovery ahead of us, this is a stopgap.
“A six-month extension just delays the problem, only to leave millions facing a financial cliff edge in the autumn.”
There has been a significant rise in people claiming Universal Credit, with 6,049 households in South Holland on the benefit as of November 2020.
According to figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions, there has been a 98 per cent increase in people on Universal Credit since March 12, 2020, with 4.5 million people claiming the benefit between March 2020 and January 2021.
Mr Richards says that the uplift has made a difference and is asking the Government to keep the uplift for at least a year.
He said: “We know what a positive difference the uplift has made for people on reduced incomes and facing increased food and heating bills.We urge the Government to think again.
“The Universal Credit uplift must be kept for at least a year to help people pick up the pieces from this crisis.”