Millions on Universal Credit Face Benefit Cut Threat

Millions on Universal Credit to lose hundreds of pounds as Rishi Sunak threatens cut (

Rishi Sunak, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, has raised concerns for millions of families dependent on Universal Credit (UC) by declining to commit to inflation-proof benefit increases next year. While attending the G20 summit in New Delhi, Sunak argued that benefits had already experienced a significant increase, indicating the government’s reluctance to ensure benefits keep pace with inflation.

Normally, UC payments rise each April based on the previous September’s inflation figure, which is projected to be 6.9%. However, the government is considering a lower increase, which could leave approximately 6.1 million UC recipients worse off. If benefits rise 1% below inflation, a low-income working couple with two children could lose £220.

Millions on Universal Credit Face Benefit Cut Threat

When asked if he could guarantee inflation-linked benefit increases, Sunak declined but pledged to “make sure we look after the most vulnerable.” He pointed out that benefits had increased by 10% this year, providing substantial support.

Katie Schmuecker of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation criticized any potential cut to benefits, emphasizing that current benefit levels are already insufficient to cover essential expenses. The rising cost of necessities affects individuals with lower incomes the most.

Labour criticized the government’s approach, dismissing it as speculation and kite-flying, emphasizing the government’s track record of tax hikes, economic stagnation, and deteriorating living standards.

Notably, Liz Truss had considered ending inflation-linked benefit increases last year but abandoned the plan following widespread criticism.

Millions on Universal Credit Face Benefit Cut Threat

During the G20 summit, Sunak discussed trade deals with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was accompanied by his wife, Akshata Murty, the daughter of Indian billionaire Narayana Murthy. Sunak expressed affection for his wife and discussed the importance of building personal relationships with other leaders during diplomatic trips.

When asked about potential Cabinet reshuffles, Sunak refrained from commenting but has conducted five reshuffles since becoming Prime Minister in October. Despite recent policy discussions on environmental measures, Sunak affirmed his commitment to going green, emphasizing that the net-zero transition should not result in undue hardship for citizens.

The G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, the US, and the EU.

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