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Any extension of the Universal Credit uplift should not be made permanent, says IEA expert

Professor Len Shackleton, Editorial and Research Fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, responded to calls to extend the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift 

“Having spent so many billions over the course of the pandemic, it will be of little surprise if the Chancellor gives into demands to keep the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift for a while longer. Many people are indeed under financial pressure, but across-the-board benefit increases are a wasteful use of taxpayers’ money.

“The Government cannot just keep acceding to every demand of this kind if it is to bring any discipline to its spending. We are borrowing a hair-raising amount of money every month, and new taxes are threatened. Higher taxes will not help the recovery, which in turn will hit the poorest the hardest.

“When the pandemic has run down, we must do all we can to get people back into work as quickly as possible, through relaxing regulations which discourage businesses from offering employment. People need jobs, not continuing dependence on Government handouts. Any extension of the UC uplift beyond April – which would add £6 billion to the annual welfare bill – should not be made permanent.” 

Notes to editors

For media enquiries, please contact Emily Carver, Head of Media, on 07715942731 or ecarver@iea.org.uk.

IEA spokespeople are available for further comment and interview.

To read IEA Editorial and Research Fellow Len Shackleton’s report, ‘How to create new jobs’, click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

Original article link: https://iea.org.uk/media/any-extension-of-the-universal-credit-uplift-should-not-be-made-permanent-says-iea-expert/

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