Changes to Universal Credit 'to make work pay' would be 'attractive', MP says

27 October 2021, 08:52

Robert Jenrick told LBC reducing the taper rate for Universal Credit would be "sensible"
Robert Jenrick told LBC reducing the taper rate for Universal Credit would be "sensible". Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Changes to Universal Credit - specifically a reduction in the taper rate - would be "sensible" and is an "attractive option" for the Chancellor, a Tory MP has told LBC ahead of the Budget on Wednesday.

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The taper rate is the rate at which Universal Credit is reduced once a claimant starts to earn enough.

Currently it is 63 per cent, meaning that for every £1 claimants earn over their work allowance, Universal Credit is reduced by 63p.

When asked if Rishi Sunak would reduce it for those on low incomes, Mr Jenrick said it was "one option that's available to the Chancellor".

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"I don't have any inside information," he said.

"It seems to me to be a very sensible step because Universal Credit is designed to make work pay, so if somebody takes on some extra hours they get to keep as much of that as possible and at the moment you see taper rates that mean that you lose as much as 60 per cent and that doesn't seem sensible.

"So I think that's an attractive option to the Chancellor which targets money at the people who need it the most and helps to incentivise work, which must be at the core of what we as Conservatives believe."

A change to Universal Credit is just one thing that could be announced at Wednesday's Budget.

Mr Sunak is also set to announce new funding to tackle NHS backlogs, nearly £7b to overhaul local transport, a new Global Britain Investment Fund and an increase in the National Living Wage.

LBC will bring you live coverage of Rishi Sunak's Budget Review on Wednesday from 12:30 and you can watch it on lbc.co.uk, listen live or watch in full on the Global Player.