At the start of this crisis the Government uplifted the standard allowance of Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £20 a week. This will end in April unless the Government decides to keep it in the coming weeks.
Ending this uplift will see the annual incomes of millions of families cut overnight by £1,040. Equally concerning, families on legacy benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support (the majority of whom are disabled, sick or carers) have been left out of this uplift from the start.
We are urging the Government to #KeepTheLifeline by making this uplift permanent and making sure families on legacy benefits are not left behind again.
How you can help
Government Ministers are currently considering whether to keep the uplift or cut it. MPs need to understand the urgency of this issue and how it will affect their local area - they need to hear from their constituents across the country.
We are encouraging people who are supported by Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit, and have experienced the £20 uplift, to write urgently to their MP about how a £20 cut would impact them.
If you are supported by Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income Support you can also write to your MP to ask them to keep the £20 uplift and ask that legacy benefits are not excluded again.
How to write to your MP
1. Draft your personalised email to your MP including these key points:
Dear XXXXXXX MP,
I am writing as someone who is on Universal Credit/Working Tax Credit OR ESA/JSA/Income Support to urge you to ask Rishi Sunak & Thérèse Coffey, to do the right thing by making the recent £20 uplift to Universal Credit & Working Tax Credit permanent and extend it to families on legacy benefits too.
[If you have had the uplift - insert what impact the £20 has had and what impact taking it away will have on your livelihood]
[If you haven’t had the uplift – add what life is like on social security, what impact the pandemic has had on you and what difference receiving the £20 would make for you]
Please urgently write or speak to Ministers and ask them to keep the lifeline and ensure those on legacy benefits are not left behind. I would appreciate a response and thank you for your time.
2. Go to https://www.writetothem.com/ and enter your postcode. Scroll down to find ‘Your MP’, click on their name.
3. Copy and paste the letter you’ve drafted
4. Follow the instructions on the website to send your letter
Please let us know if you get a response from your MP. You can share any responses with us at [email protected]. It may take a few weeks for them to get back to you.
Tips for sharing your experience
Consider the following questions when drafting your message:
- What does your household look like? Do you have children?
- How long have you been on this benefit? Are you working or unemployed? How has the pandemic impacted you?
- Are you managing to afford the rent, other bills and essentials?
- What are your concerns about the future? What will happen if you do not have this £20 from April?
Include how benefits support you in normal times, not just during challenges of the pandemic. We want to show MPs that social security/welfare is a vital public service that needs to meet people’s needs always, not just in a pandemic.
Your MP will want to hear how their decisions are impacting people's level of debt or affecting your ability to pay rent or bills. They will want to know if their choices have affected your children's or your family's health. Include your experience of these things if you feel comfortable.
Be polite – even if it is tempting not to be! We want them to support the cause.