Universal Credit: Rishi Sunak planning RISE in payments after £20 uplift ends

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He is looking to introduce a new scheme when the enhanced payments end on March 31. Treasury officials dampened down reports yesterday that he will hand claimants a lump sum £1,000 payment instead, however.

A Whitehall source said the move was unlikely while pointing towards recent statements from ministers that the Government was committed to supporting needy households through the pandemic.

Mr Sunak is reported to be opposed to allowing the £20 increase to become permanent because of the £6billion annual cost

Last week, Boris Johnson said the £20 increase, introduced last year to provide extra support for benefit claimants during the coronavirus crisis, was “under review”.

He said: “What we’ve said is we will put our arms around the whole of the country. I think the UK is capable of staging a very powerful economic recovery but we’ve got to look after people throughout the pandemic. We want to make sure people don’t suffer.”

And Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said last week: “Obviously in March there will be a Budget where again that holistic approach can be taken by the Chancellor, but we’ve put that support in place to make sure that the most vulnerable communities can be protected at this very difficult time.”

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