Universal credit U-turn on the cards as Michael Gove refuses guarantee rise with inflation

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Michael Gove hinted at a potential U-turn on universal credit after former Prime Minister Liz Truss refused to rule out cuts to welfare benefits. 

When Laura Kuenssberg asked him whether renters would benefit from financial help, the reinstated Levelling Up Secretary said: “We know that people both the private and in the public sectors – and also people in the social rented sector – people who are living in council houses, people who are living in housing association homes are facing tough times. 

“We’re looking at a range of options to help them.”

When pressed on whether financial help would be cash to help people paying their rent, Mr Gove said: “It could mean targeted support for all sorts of people who are in difficulty.

“But again, what I can’t do at this stage is anticipate specific support.”

He acknowledged rent is only of the many challenges Britons will face in the next few months, as inflation will continue to drive up food and energy prices. 

He said: “The combination of inflation and higher interest rates creates difficulties. 

“And there are different ways of supporting people – whether that is through universal credit, whether that is through the tax system or whether that is through direct support.”

 

Rishi Sunak is facinng ket decisions on Universal Credit payments and how his Government will support millions of people struggling to pay their bills this winter.

Mr Sunak is the third Prime Minister this year to grapple with the same challenges over the economy and the cost of living crisis. 

Inflation is currently at its highest point in 40 years. If benefits do not rise by the 10 percent inflation, it will represent real-terms cut for benefits recipients.

Upon taking office, Rishi Sunak immediately made reference to Britain’s “profound economic crisis” in the aftermath of Covid and the destablising effect on foreign markets caused by Putin’s war on Ukraine.

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