Universal Credit: #KeepTheLifeline Campaign

This campaign relates to policy or practice in England and Wales.

We’ve helped over 300,000 people with Universal Credit issues since the beginning of the pandemic. Our clients’ evidence helps us play a key role in influencing the Government to ensure the welfare system works for all those needing support.

#KeepTheLifeline Campaign

We welcomed the Government’s decision at the start of pandemic to increase Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits by £20 a week. This uplift has provided a lifeline for millions of families across the UK, during extraordinarily tough times.

The uplift is in place until September 2021. We're calling for it to be made permanent to provide financial security for millions of people and help support the country's longer term economic recovery.

Why the uplift needs to stay

Every day our advisers speak to people who have had their lives turned upside down by this pandemic. Many who’ve never needed support from the benefits system, and others who were already on a financial cliff edge going into the crisis.

As the labour market and economy recovers, it’s vital that Universal Credit provides a strong safety net. Keeping the £20 uplift will help to ensure that people can cover their essential costs like food and rent, whilst helping them build financial resilience and keeping more money in the local economy.

What we’re doing

So far, our campaigning work has involved:

  • Publishing policy reports and blog posts, and submitting evidence to government and parliamentary committees
  • Working with our local offices to engage MPs
  • Collaborating with a coalition of charities led by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to spread the word about #KeepTheLifeline

Our successes

Our unparalleled insight and data has meant that the Government has committed to a number of welfare changes that we have called for previously, including:

  • Extending the suspension of the Minimum Income Floor for six months during the pandemic
  • Ending the benefits freeze so benefits increase with inflation to keep up with increasing living costs
  • Removing the 7 waiting days at the beginning of a claim so people get money quicker
  • Increasing the work allowances by £1,000 a year for working families and disabled people
  • Introducing an additional non-repayable financial payment for those moving from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit to help people pay their rent