Boris Johnson won't intervene to keep £20 Universal Credit uplift

7 July 2021, 18:54

The £20 Universal Credit uplift will be phased out from September.
The £20 Universal Credit uplift will be phased out from September. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Boris Johnson will not intervene to maintain the £20 Universal Credit uplift, he told the Commons Liaison Committee.

This comes after Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey confirmed on Wednesday morning that the uplift would be removed in autumn.

The Prime Minister believed the answer was instead to "get people into work", especially as job vacancies are returning to pre-pandemic levels.

"I think that the best way forward is to get people into higher wage, higher skilled jobs," he said.

"That's the ambition of this government and if you ask me to make a choice between more welfare or better, higher paid jobs, I'm going to go for better, higher paid jobs."

Read more: PM claims £350m figure on side of Brexit bus was actually 'a slight underestimate'

Read more: Labour MP takes aim at government for response to Dominic Cummings Barnard Castle incident

When asked if he would review the policy, Mr Johnson said: "Of course we keep everything under constant review but I've given you a pretty clear steer about what my instincts are."

Ms Coffey previously explained that the uplift - introduced to provide extra support during the pandemic - would begin phasing out from the end of September.

There had been calls for the increase to be kept in place for at least a year, or to be made permanent.

Mr Johnson added: "We're also, by the way, developing and pushing forward a lot of excellent schemes for getting people into work.

"Not just Kickstart, but Restart and JETS – the Job Entry Training Scheme – to help people into work.

"I think that should be our mission. That should be our crusade."