Budget benefits threat to 32,000 in Sunderland

More than 32,000 households in Sunderland will be hit if the temporary rises in two key benefits are not extended in this week’s the Budget, analysis suggests.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 12:24 pm
Budget benefits call

The Fabian Society says there were 26,700 households in Sunderland receiving Universal Credit in November last year, and around 5,500 claiming Working Tax Credit in December.

Both were the subject of temporary increases last spring to help combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The think tank says this means a potential 32,200 households in the area would see their finances hit by the scrapping of the £20 uplifts – with more than 13,600 being homes with children.

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Both benefits increases are set to end after March 31 – but it is hoped Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce a change of plan at the Budget on Wednesday.

If not, almost six million households nationally could be affected - around 286,000 in the North East.

Andrew Harrop, Fabian Sociaty general secretary, said: “These devastating figures show how the chancellor’s planned cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit will hit family finances in every corner of the country.

“Removing £1,000 per year from so many households will reduce how much people can spend and suck millions of pounds out of local economies.”

The think tank estimates the end of the benefit increases would take £32.9m out of the Sunderland economy.

Minister for welfare delivery Will Quince said: “This vital safety net has stood up to the challenge of the pandemic, and with thousands of new work coaches we are helping claimants across the country get back on their feet with one-to-one tailored support."