Minister confirms UK Government hasn’t conducted a risk assessment into universal credit cut
The UK Government has admitted a risk assessment has not been carried out into the impact of scrapping the £1,000-a-year boost to universal credit next month.
The £20 per week uplift was introduced at the start of the Covid pandemic last year and removing it is predicted to have severe repercussions for some of the poorest families in Wales.
The work and pensions minister, Baroness Stedman-Scott, told the House of Lords yesterday that her department had carried out no formal assessment of the impact of returning payments to pre-pandemic level.
“The department has not completed an impact assessment of the ending of the temporary uplift, as it was introduced as a temporary measure,” she said.
“This is because we have no obligation to conduct an impact assessment as we’re returning to business as usual, as the temporary Covid uplift is expiring as it was always intended to do.”
Last month the devolved administrations wrote to the UK Government expressing “grave concerns” regarding plans to withdraw the extra money, described by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as the biggest overnight cut in the basic rate of social security since the creation of the modern welfare state.
Analysis of the planned cuts will impact ‘tens of thousands’ of working families, Wales TUC has warned and estimates 280,000 people will be made worse off.
The TUC’s research also suggests that more than a third (37.1 per cent) of those hit in Wales will be working families – many of them key worker households.
Latest UK Government statistics show that of the 6 million people on Universal Credit, 2.2 million are already working and 1.6 million are not required to work due to health and caring responsibilities that prevent them from seeking employment.