“We welcome the government’s decision to extend the £20 a week increase in Universal Credit that was put in place after the onset of the pandemic. Amongst our customers, cases have increased by 3,605 since 23 March 2020, to a total in February 2021 of nearly 8,000, due to reductions in income or job losses and it’s impacting many more people who’ve never needed financial support before. We’re here to provide money and benefits advice, as well as wider tenancy support and wellbeing services to as many people as possible who need help.
“However, we’d still urge the government to make the £20 uplift permanent as part of a re-think of how the welfare system supports people, as we know Universal Credit is not enough to live on. Even with the uplift, many are facing extremely difficult choices between paying for rent, food or heating.
“Both the stamp duty extension and mortgage guarantee scheme will be welcomed by many, but what we really need in this country is increased funding to support the building of more affordable housing. The supply of truly affordable housing, including social rented housing, is more important than ever given the difficult financial circumstances many more people now find themselves in and there remains a critical shortage.”