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Legacy Benefits: Universal Credit

Volume 685: debated on Tuesday 1 December 2020

What assessment he has made of the economic effect of increasing legacy benefits by £20 per week in line with the recent increase to the standard universal credit allowance. (909599)

The £20 per week increase to universal credit and working tax credit is benefiting claimants by a total of £6.1 billion this year and is just one part of the wide-ranging package of Government support during this crisis.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation points out that raising social security benefits not only helps hard-pressed families, but boosts the economy because the increase is likely to be spent. Does the Chief Secretary recognise that raising legacy benefits in line with the £20 a week increase he has referred to that has already been introduced in universal credit would boost the economy while also addressing the current unfair discrepancy between them?

I recognise that the right hon. Gentleman has, as Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, raised this issue on a number of occasions, and he will know that the uplift continues until the end of March; the benefit to which he refers continues until then. The Government are not ruling anything out for the future, but it is right that we wait for more clarity on the national economic picture before making any further decisions.