Saturday, 21 March 2020

UK Unveils £7b Relief Package for Working Families

Universal Credit is to be increased by £1,000 a year as the government announced ‘unprecedented’ emergency economic measures to deal with coronavirus. 
In a £7bn welfare support package, working tax credits and housing benefit will also be increased and claimant rules relaxed for the self-employed.

Following criticism that the Chancellor’s £350bn bail-out earlier this week was focused on businesses but not on workers, he said the latest measures would help ‘four million of the most vulnerable households’.
Alongside the rise in benefits payments, Rishi Sunak said the minimum income floor for the self employed would be scrapped so that they can claim Universal Credit.

That means that self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay for employees.”
The next statutory tax self-assessment would also be delayed until next January, he added.
Universal Credit ‘standard allowance’ - £323.22 a month for single people and £507.37 a month for couples - will be raised by £1,000 for the next 12 months, with working tax credits increased by the same amount.

Housing benefit will now be set at 30pc of market rent.
But he warned: "I cannot promise you that no-one will face hardship in the weeks ahead."
The welfare package comes alongside a new programme called the ‘Covid Job Retention Scheme’ which will see the government pay 80pc of retained workers’ wages up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
Mr Sunak said the response will be ‘one of the most comprehensive in the world’.
He added: "To all those at home, right now anxious about the days ahead, I say you will not face this alone."

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