Universal Credit: Boris told to provide new ‘lifeline’ – including £2,000 direct payment

Universal Credit: Expert discusses benefits of claiming

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The petition, launched on the site 38 degrees on Monday August 8, calls on the Government to increase Universal Credit to support people during the cost of living crisis. The call for the emergency COBRA meeting was laid out by 38 degrees and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the start of August. The petition said: “The Government raised Universal Credit during the pandemic – providing a lifeline to millions – and with enough pressure, they could do it again.”

Writing in the Daily Mirror at the time, Mr Brown stated that the government’s disaster emergency committee “should be in permanent session to deal with the coming fuel and energy crisis”.

Mr Brown also criticised Tory leadership contenders Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss for their lack of focus on the crisis. 

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Brown said: “This is not just a financial time bomb that’s going to explode on families in October, it’s a moral issue, it’s about our responsibilities to each other. 

“The duties we owe as citizens to our neighbours, it’s about our obligations beyond the front door and the garden gate – and we cannot walk by on the other side when people are facing an unbearable burden of what are going to become unpayable bills in October.”

READ MORE: Mum fears she has no time left to save in pension: How to boost savings in a ‘short-time’

Within 24 hours of going live, the petition backing the demand for an emergency budget had been signed by 47,500 members of the public.

The petition called for Government to cancel the October Ogfem price cap increase, to boost Universal Credit and deliver a direct payment of nearly £2,000 to help those hardest hit.

The petition stated that the financial support would be funded by a “tougher windfall tax” on energy companies and levy on bankers’ bonuses.

It said: “If we come together as a social movement with a HUGE petition demanding immediate action, we can push the new Prime Minister to protect vulnerable households before the next energy price hike hits.”

Thousands are sharing the petition on Twitter asking Britons to support the call. 

When sharing the petition, Twitter user @InterestingTi13 said: “Please – we can’t survive on what they’re giving us. Take a moment to help.”

A Loughborough University report, commissioned by Mr Brown and published at the same time as the petition, found support for low-income households has “fallen short” of offsetting the losses they face with some families up to £1,600 a year worse off.

The analysis then claimed that the additional £1,200 offered to the poorest in society will fail to compensate for blows to their income from October 2021 to October 2022.

Looking to October, energy bills have been predicted to reach around £3,500 for typical use each year.

The Bank of England (BoE) has also predicted that inflation is to hit 13 percent by the end of the year, with investment bank Citi predicting an increase to over 18 percent in January.

Ofgem will make their price cap announcement this Friday.

Looking ahead to next year, the most recent predictions from Cornwall Insight state that the cost of energy bills could rise to £4,200 for typical use from January 2023.

By comparison, the standard allowance for a single person on Universal Credit and over the age of 25 years is around £4,018 a year which means that a person’s energy bills are to entirely swallow the Universal Credit payment. 

According to recent Department for Work and Pension (DWP) figures, in June 2022, there were 5.6 million Universal Credit claimants in the UK.

The figures also showed that the number of people claiming Housing Benefit is at 2.6 million and almost 1.5 million people were claiming Carer’s Allowance.

The DWP has urged Britons to check what benefits they may be entitled to so they can get extra support to tackle the cost of living crisis. 

The high number of claimants seeking Government support comes as a poll by Ipsos Mori found two-thirds of the public thinks there is not enough state support to help with the cost of living.

Current Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself admitted on August 12 that current support measures are insufficient, but has ruled out taking further action before his successor is announced on September 5.

Express.co.uk has contacted the Department for Work and Pensions asking for comment.

Source: Read Full Article