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Universal Credit rises – but is negated by souring inflation

From today, 11 April 2022, means-tested payments, like Universal Credit, and the state pension have risen by 3.1%.

Here are some examples of what this looks like for standard allowance recipients of Universal Credit (per year):

  • For those single and aged under 25, the standard allowance has gone up from £257.33 to £265.31
  • For those single and aged 25 or over, the standard allowance has gone up from £324.84 to £334.91
  • For joint claimants both under 25, the standard allowance has gone up from £403.93 to £416.45
  • For joint claimants where one or both are 25 or over, the standard allowance has gone up from £509.91 to £525.72

Unfortunately, these new rates were set last year, before inflation hit its highest rate in 30 years, currently at 6.2% and predicted to potentially rise as high as 9% later in the year.

With souring household bills such as energy, council tax and supermarket prices, the benefits increase fails to tackle the cost of living crisis as it has already been negated before reaching recipients.

Millions of people had already been pushed into poverty following the pandemic, but the situation is worsening. For some, it is no longer a case of choosing between heating and eating – energy is now so expensive, they don’t use heating or only heat their homes once a week.

We are already seeing a significant rise in people reaching out for help from food banks and community groups.  We are gravely concerned how people in the most deprived situations are going to cope by the Autumn when the weather turns colder, and energy prices rise once again.

Universal Credit is made up of a standard allowance and any extra amounts that apply to individuals. For example, if they have children, a disability or a health condition.

We would urge people in receipt of Universal Credit to ensure they are claiming all that they are entitled to and if they are not sure, then seek help from an organisation such as Caridon Foundation who can offer free advice.

For the full breakdown of the Government’s list of benefits for 2022/2023 – CLICK HERE