When does £20 Universal Credit uplift end? Date extra payment is cut - and why it’s not being extended

Around 1.2 million people in the UK fear they will have to skip meals when the £20-a-week top-up ends

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The £20-per-week universal credit top-up - which was introduced in response to the Covid pandemic - is due to come to an end.

But when is it set to end and why is it not being extended?

Here’s what you need to know.

When does the universal credit uplift end?

The universal credit top-up scheme of £20-per-week is set to come to an end on 6 October, but the exact date the money will stop being paid will vary depending on which day people usually receive universal credit.

Citizens Advice has warned that a third of people on Universal Credit will end up in debt when the extra payment is removed.

The charity said the average shortfall for people would be between £51 and £55 a month.

Citizens Advice’s chief executive, Dame Clare Moriarty, said: "A cut to Universal Credit this autumn will be a hammer blow to millions of people.

"It undermines our chance of a more equal recovery by tipping families into the red and taking money from the communities most in need.

"The government must listen to the growing consensus that it should reverse course and keep this vital lifeline."

Around 1.2 million people in the UK also fear they will have to skip meals if the £20-a-week cut goes ahead.

Some 20 per cent of those on universal credit told YouGov they may miss meals and go hungry if the cut goes ahead as planned.

Why is the universal credit top-up not being extended?

Although there have been calls for the extra £20-per-week for Universal Credit to be extended, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce in his Conservative Party Conference speech on Wednesday (6 October) that the cut will go ahead as planned.

Paddy Lillis, general secretary of the shopworkers union Usdaw, said: “Today is a dark day for many working families, with the Government ignoring the pleas of many to retain the £20 weekly uplift and tackle long standing issues with the Universal Credit system.

“It is shameful that the Government is removing this crucial lifeline for low-paid workers and their families; particularly as they face rising utility bills and national insurance increases, along with fuel and food shortages that are impacting the cost of living.

“The Prime Minister, in his conference address today, has the opportunity to do the right thing for the lowest paid workers by cancelling the UC cut and committing to reforming a social security system that doesn’t provide the support working families need.

“Universal Credit should protect the vulnerable and ‘make work pay’, yet it has failed to do this on almost every level.

“The £20 uplift was only ever a short-term sticking plaster and today it is being painfully ripped off. We need a proper social security system that supports families, particularly in the face of a looming cost of living crisis.”

A government spokesperson said: “We’ve always been clear that the uplift to Universal Credit was temporary.

“It was designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and it has done so.

“Universal Credit will continue to provide vital support for those both in and out of work and it’s right that the government should focus on our Plan for Jobs, supporting people back into work and supporting those already employed to progress and earn more”.