Rishi Sunak has said he will keep considerations of making the Universal Credit coronavirus boost permanent “under review”. The Chancellor was questioned on Sky News over the Government’s £20-a-week increase of the scheme payments, which is due to end in April 2021. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, that could push 700,000 people, including 300,000 children, into poverty.
Mr Sunak said: “That was one of the steps we took at the beginning of this crisis.
“It was one of a number of things we did to provide support to people through the acute phase of this crisis.
“It runs all the way through to April so there’s no need to make a decision on it now.
“Many of the things we’ve put in place, whether it’s furlough or the others, run through the winter into the spring.”
He continued: “We keep everything under review and we’ll make the decisions that are right for the economy.
“One thing we know and have learnt is that this virus is adapting and evolving, and our ability to combat is is adapting and evolving.
“So there’s an enormous amount of uncertainty at the moment, and it wouldn’t be right to make long-term decisions right now.
“But, of course, we’ll get through and we’ll have future events like budgets where we’ll take stock and see what the right way to support the economy and people as we try to hopefully emerge from this.”
More to follow…