I have received a letter, reproduced below, from the Minister at the Department of Work & Pensions.
COVID-19 SUPPORT: FOCUSING ON AND INVESTING IN OUR JOBS RECOVERY
Over the past year, the UK Government has helped millions of people as part of its Plan for Jobs to
protect, support and create employment. As we emerge from the pandemic and learn to live with
COVID-19, we remain focused on creating new, better jobs, and helping people gain the skills they
need to succeed. More people are getting back into work, the number of payrolled employees has
returned to pre-pandemic levels and there are record levels of vacancies. This is a tribute to the
British people and businesses and a testament to our comprehensive and unprecedented £400
billion package to support people and businesses through the economic shock from COVID-19.
Despite the biggest recession in 300 years, our support package has helped to safeguard jobs,
businesses and public services in every region and nation of the UK, demonstrating it was right to
provide exceptional support while widespread COVID-19 restrictions were in place.
The temporary £20 uplift was an important part of the measures we took, helping people facing the
greatest financial disruption, specifically those who came onto Universal Credit because they saw
their hours reduced and incomes fall suddenly as a result of pandemic restrictions. We have always
been clear that this was a temporary measure, responding to extraordinary circumstances. In line
with other emergency support it helped to protect livelihoods through the worst of the pandemic.
With most restrictions lifted and with record numbers of vacancies, it is right that we now focus on,
and invest in, jobs and improving the prospects for those already in employment as we bring these
measures to an end.
The Government recognises the importance of giving people time to prepare for a change in their
income. Which is why DWP has been proactively communicating this change with claimants. In July,
we updated the UC statement to show claimants they have been receiving an additional £86.67 a
month in response to the pandemic. In August and September, we notified all claimants via two
separate UC journal messages that this temporary measure would be coming to an end. These
messages outline the date of their last payment which includes the uplift and signposts claimant’s
to organisations who can help with budgeting, and additionally to the “Universal Credit: help with
managing your money” guidance on GOV.UK. Our Work Coaches have been supporting claimants
on changes to the uplift during appointments, as well as signposting claimants to additional support
if it is required. We have also increased the number of people on the telephone helpline and are
monitoring phone lines and UC journal entries to identify vulnerable claimants who may need further
We will issue a final statement change to inform claimants that Assessment Periods ending on, or
after, 6 October 2021 will not include the £20 per week uplift.
We recognise that some people are worried about the cost of living, which is why as well as helping
people move into better-paid work and to progress in work, we are also continuing to support people
with the cost of living and put more pounds into the pockets of low-income families. This includes
raising the National Living Wage, doubling free childcare, supporting households at risk of fuel
poverty through the Warm Home Discount, increasing the value of Healthy Start Vouchers and
through the Holiday Activities and Food Programme. In addition, our new Household Support Fund
will make £500 million available to local authorities during October to help the most vulnerable
households with the extra costs of this winter. The Barnett formula will apply in the usual way, with
the devolved administrations receiving up to £79 million of the £500 million.
For those who require further assistance managing their money, the Money and Pensions Service
(MaPS) provides free and impartial debt advice, money guidance and pension guidance through
their MoneyHelper service which can be accessed at www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en. Individuals who
require help managing payments, credit or loans could also access breathing space through debt
advisors if they are eligible.
As our recovery gathers pace, the Government is continuing to help people into work and increase
their earning potential – the most sustainable route to financial security and the best route out of
poverty. We’re investing billions through our Plan for Jobs and the Lifetime Skills Guarantee. With
over a million vacancies in our labour market and more than 27,000 Work Coaches are helping
people get into work and improve their prospects. We’ve got dedicated programmes helping those
of all ages; Kickstart for young people; JETS for those directly impacted by the pandemic; SWAPs
helping match talent to opportunity by switching sectors; and Restart for the longer term
unemployed. But, our support isn’t limited to those seeking work – Work Coaches are able to help
those already in jobs with extensive training opportunities and other support to boost their hours and
further their employment prospects.
With the economy rebounding, and backed by our Plan for Jobs, we have a unique opportunity, to
help people move into new and better paid jobs, progress in their existing job, raising their earnings
and building their financial resilience. We are dedicated to these tasks as we build back better and
DAVID RUTLEY MP
MINISTER FOR WELFARE DELIVERY