The Universal Credit cut will have “devastating consequences” for people’s mental health, a charity has warned.
Removing the £20-a-week uplift will “seriously damage” the health, wellbeing and life chances of the most vulnerable, the British Psychological Society (BPS) said.
The temporary increase was introduced to help claimants weather the storm of the coronavirus pandemic.
Its removal has been widely opposed by charities, unions, think tanks and leaders from across the political spectrum.
From Wednesday, no assessments will include the uplift, meaning that from October 13 – a week later – no payments will be received that include the extra money.
The cut will be staggered as families receive payments on different dates.
Julia Faulconbridge, from the BPS’ division of clinical psychology, said the move “will have devastating consequences for people’s mental health and wellbeing”.
She said: “Cutting Universal Credit at a time of such uncertainty and difficulty will seriously damage the health, wellbeing and life chances of the most vulnerable.
“This decision will see health inequalities widen, placing more pressure on our already stretched and underfunded public services, as well as intensifying the mental health difficulties of people already struggling with rising debts, reduced income and soaring living costs.
“We have to question the Government’s commitment to ‘levelling up’ when the reduction in benefits risks cutting millions of families adrift at a time when they need support the most.”
She said there is “still time for the Government to do the right thing” and reinstate the uplift.
The Government has said the uplift was always intended to be temporary, has helped claimants through the toughest stages of the pandemic and it is right to focus on its jobs plan.
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