Universal Credit: Expert discusses benefits of claiming
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If Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt make the move, Universal Credit payments could rise by as much as £52 per month. One Government source told The Mirror that, as of Tuesday, no final decision had been made and a real-terms cut could still happen. However, the source said: “It can and will change.”
Universal Credit is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and people are able to apply if they’re out of work or on a low-income, live in the UK, are over the age of 18 years, and have less than £16,000 in savings.
It is usually paid once a month and is made up of a basic “standard allowance” for a household.
However, people with different circumstances receive different amounts of Universal Credit.
Currently, the standard amount is £265.31 a month for single claimants under 25, and £334.91 a month for single claimants aged 25 or over.
However, if the increase with inflation is to go ahead, a single person aged 25 or over, would likely see their payment increase from £334.91 to £368.40.
For those who are single and aged under 25, their payment would likely go up from £265.31 to £291.84.
For joint claimants, two people who live together where at least one is aged 25 or over currently receive £525.72 per month. This monthly payment would likely rise to £578.29.
Meanwhile, joint claimants who are both under 25 could expect their payments to jump from £416.45 to £480.09 per month.
Since the Office of National Statistics (ONS) announced that the inflation level in the UK had hit 10.1 percent in September it has remained uncertain as to whether benefits and the state pension were to rise alongside it.
Each year, the Government uses the September consumer prices index (CPI) level to calculate how much benefits and the state pension will rise the following April.
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson had promised an increase for benefits earlier this year.
However, the next Prime Minister Liz Truss would not commit to the promise although she did say she was committed to the Pension Triple Lock.
READ MORE: Attendance Allowance: 6 myths that stop millions of pensioners claiming up to £370 a month
Campaigners say a 10.1 percent rise for 5.6 million Universal Credit claimants would be “long overdue”
This is because the benefit only rose by 3.1 percent last April.
Mr Hunt is set to outline the Autumn Statement on November 17 next week.
According to the Times, raising the state pension and benefits in line with inflation would cost £11billion in 2023-24.
However, increasing benefits such as Universal Credit will lead to spending cuts elsewhere.
Mr Hunt appeared on BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg today and confirmed that spending cuts were necessary saying there would be “very difficult decisions” made but claimed his plan would show the way through “difficult times”.
Mr Hunt also confirmed that everyone will be paying “a bit more tax” after next week’s budget.
He also confirmed that further support for energy from April is on the way, however, he did not clarify what exactly that support was.
He did also add that there would be “some constraints” to this support package.
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