Universal Credit claimants face £1,000 losses as Boris Johnson faces pressure

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Universal Credit claimants could lose £1,040 each year if Boris Johnson goes ahead with cuts.

Carers, shelf stackers and hairdressers will be among the workers hit by the biggest overall drop in welfare payments being compounded by the Universal Credit cut, new research says.

Primary teachers, nurses and street cleaners will also be potentially losing more than £1,700 per year compared to 2010 if the £20-a-week uplift ends next month as planned.

Boris Johnson is coming under pressure from charities, campaigners and even Tory MPs to scrap the end of the temporary increase introduced during the coronavirus pandemic.

Research from the Action for Children charity found that the families of hairdressers will have lost £1,982 on average, shelf stackers £1,843 and care workers £1,773 if the Prime Minister goes ahead with the cuts.

Action for Children policy director Imran Hussain urged the Prime Minister to rethink the plan, warning it is a “recipe for disaster for struggling families”.

“Too many childhoods are overshadowed by poverty and hardship, and the pandemic is making things worse,” he said.

“We’re talking about hairdressers, shop-workers and carers – not big earners but people who are proud to work and do everything they can to provide for their children.”

The £20 weekly uplift was introduced temporarily to help claimants weather the storm of the coronavirus pandemic.

But ministers plan to start phasing out the increase from the end of September, based on individual claimants’ payment dates.

Downing Street issue statement on Universal Credit

A Government spokesman said: “As announced by the Chancellor at the Budget, the uplift to Universal Credit was always temporary.

“It was designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and it has done so.

“Universal Credit will continue to provide vital support for those both in and out of work, and it’s right that the Government should focus on our Plan for Jobs, supporting people back into work and supporting those already employed to progress and earn more.”