Yesterday CARBS Chief Executive Andrea Dunhill wrote to Crispin Blunt MP about the national and local Citizens Advice campaign. We hope he will represent our case to the Chancellor as he works on the March Budget.
Dear Mr Blunt
Citizens Advice: Keep the benefits lifeline to support people in Reigate and Banstead
Citizens Advice Reigate and Banstead, with local Citizens Advice across the country, is asking the government to extend the £20 Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit uplift – a lifeline for your constituents which is due to expire in just three months’ time.
On behalf of these residents I am writing to ask if you would make representations to the Chancellor at the earliest opportunity as he plans his Budget in March.
Every day our advisers speak to people whose lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic. So far, they have helped nearly 1,300 people with Universal Credit during the crisis.
However, the new national lockdown will further impact people’s lives and many will struggle if the uplift expires. According to the latest DWP figures, since March the total UC caseload in Reigate and Banstead has risen to 5,814 – an increase of 139% on the same period last year. Removing the uplift could take around £5.4m out of the local economy, more if the caseload increases.
It has been an essential lifeline for local people, safeguarding quality of life and helping prevent years of debt with associated insecurity. Citizens Advice and other organisations will be working together to encourage the Chancellor to keep the lifeline, as well as extend the uplift to legacy benefits.
On behalf of local people, I hope you will represent our concerns about current policy to the Treasury. I would be happy to provide further information if that would help.
Citizens Advice Reigate and Banstead.