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Cost of living
Savings, debt and assets

Autumn Budget - why we must keep the £20 social security lifeline

The Government must keep this lifeline and stop it from being whipped away overnight from around 16 million people in April, cutting many of us adrift and pushing us deeper into hardship.

Written by:
Iain Porter
Date published:

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit has been a lifeline for families during the coronavirus storm. But it is due to end in April 2021, whipping the lifeline away, cutting many adrift and seeing 700,000 more people pulled into poverty. The Government promised to protect living standards and level up the country, but around 16 million people are in families that will feel an overnight loss of £1,040 per year, disproportionately hitting those on the lowest incomes and families with children.

This cut will impact both those who have newly turned to our social security system due to job losses as a result of the pandemic, and those who were already in poverty, plunging 500,000 more people into deep poverty – 50% below the poverty line.

This Government has already shown that it plans to do things differently by throwing us this vital lifeline, and the next step should be making it permanent.


  • The Government must keep doing the right thing and keep families afloat. It must keep the lifeline, strengthen social security and support the recovery by making the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent and extending it to legacy benefits.
  • Total cost: around £9 billion a year.
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