Universal Credit end south east London: Thousands impacted

Despite months of campaigning, the Universal Credit uplift ended on October 6, with claimants expected to receive final payments up to October 13.

The decision to end the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift has faced strong opposition, with the first ministers of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales among high-profile politicians and campaigners who have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to scrap the contentious proposals.

In a letter, the leaders said there was no rationale to justify cutting crucial financial support at a point when people across the UK are facing “an unprecedented squeeze on their household budgets.”

Here’s the breakdown of impact by borough:

Bexley

The Government axed a pandemic-inspired benefits boost on Wednesday and more than 18,000 people in Bexley will lose around £1,000 a year as a result, figures suggest.

Department for Work and Pensions figures show there were 18,818 people claiming Universal Credit in Bexley in July – the latest available data.

Of those, 59% were not in work.

Bromley

More than 20,000 people in Bromley will lose around £1,000 a year as a result, figures suggest.

Department for Work and Pensions figures show there were 21,817 people claiming Universal Credit in Bromley in July – the latest available data.

Of those, 61% were not in work.

Greenwich

More than 30,000 people in Greenwich will lose around £1,000 a year as a result, figures suggest.

Department for Work and Pensions figures show there were 32,685 people claiming Universal Credit in Greenwich in July – the latest available data.

Of those, 61% were not in work.

Lewisham

More than 30,000 people in Lewisham will lose around £1,000 a year as a result, figures suggest.

Department for Work and Pensions figures show there were 39,552 people claiming Universal Credit in Lewisham in July – the latest available data.

Of those, 60% were not in work.

Dartford

Thousands of people in Dartford will lose around £1,000 a year as a result, figures suggest.

Department for Work and Pensions figures show there were 9,192 people claiming Universal Credit in Dartford in July – the latest available data.

Of those, 57% were not in work.

Those mentioned are among more than 5.8 million claimants across the UK who may face a struggle to make ends meet, according to anti-poverty campaigners.

Anti-poverty charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said the end of the uplift represented the “biggest ever overnight cut to social security” and claimed the Government’s decision could plunge up to half a million people into poverty.

Katie Schmuecker, from the JRF, said: “The Prime Minister is abandoning millions to hunger and hardship with his eyes wide open.”

She added the decision “flies in the face of the Government’s mission to unite and level up our country”.

“People’s bills won’t get cheaper from Wednesday and families are already anxious about how they will get through a looming cost of living crisis,” she said.

“This decision shows a total disregard for the consequences.”

A Government spokesperson said: “We’ve always been clear that the uplift to Universal Credit and the furlough scheme were temporary.

“They were designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and they have done so.”

He said Universal Credit would continue to provide support for people in and out of work and added that it was right for the Government to focus on its Plan for Jobs, which aims to support people back into work and help those already working to progress.

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Bristol – Metro