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#KeepTheLifeline: Ruth Allen CEO writes to DWP and Chancellor

Ruth Allen CEO has written to the Department of Work and Pensions and the Chancellor regarding the Government's decision to not retain the £20 Universal Credit uplift beyond April...

To The Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Department for Work and Pensions

cc: The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer

Monday, 18 January 2021

Dear Secretary of State,

Re: Universal Credit £20 uplift

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is a professional membership organisation with more than 21,000 members across the UK, and we have added our collective voice to the campaign to retain the weekly £20 uplift to Universal Credit that is due to expire in April.

Whilst the end of the pandemic may be in sight due to the assuring news about vaccine deployment, the impact that COVID-19 has had on employment, wellbeing and household income will not improve overnight. Those most impacted by the pandemic will feel the effects for months and years to come. This is not the time to withdraw support, but the time to provide it.

Our particular concern is how not extending the £20 Universal Credit uplift will impact families on the brink of needing statutory children’s social work intervention. Most parents who live in poverty are loving, capable parents despite severe financial hardship. For those who are already struggling as a parent, poverty makes things much, much harder. As you will be aware, the England Children’s Care Review has been launched, and part of its focus will be to address the major challenge of the increase in numbers of looked after children. Removing a key source of income from families only hinders this objective. 

We believe that the weekly uplift of £20 in Universal Credit is a relatively small investment towards helping stabilise all low-income families in this time of on-going economic crisis and would also have the benefit of supporting the needs of vulnerable families who are known to, or might become known to, children’s social work services.

So many homes are heavily reliant on this £20 weekly uplift to get them through these difficult times. To remove it would put unnecessary financial pressure on families, at a time when they are already experiencing high levels of difficulty. We urge you to reconsider allowing this uplift to expire and ensure that those at risk of increased deprivation are supported.

With best wishes,

Ruth Allen

Dr Ruth Allen

CEO

 

Contact Officer: Kerri Prince - Kerri.Prince@basw.co.uk