Chancellor Rishi DSunak is reported to be preparing to announce that the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift put in place earlier in the coronavirus pandemic s set to be extended.
People claiming Univerdal Credit have been given an extra £20 during the outbreak to cope with the expenses of lockdown.
But that payment is due to end in April.
Now it has been reported that Mr Sunak will announce an extension to the payment in March – followed by a phased withdrawal later in the year.
The “temporary” rise is currently due to end on April 12, when the standard allowance will fall back down to pre-pandemic levels. The average household will lose £84 as a result.
A Government source is said to have told the Sun : “It’s not a binary choice between extending or not.
“All options remain on the table and ministers are working through them to find the best solution for families and those on lower incomes.”
Reportedly Mr Sunak plans to announce at the Budget that the full measure will stay for a long as coronavirus restrictions are in place, and will then be phased out.
Meanwhile, on Monday it was reported that The Chancellor is in talks to give six million vulnerable households a one-off £1,000 Universal Support grant under plans to scrap the £20-a-week lifeline in April.
Sources said the initiative would replace the £1,040 a year Universal Credit increase.
It’s understood that as many as 6million people could qualify for it, with Rishi Sunak claiming it could help reboot the economy.