Cut to £20-a-week Covid boost will lead to big rise in poverty, UK charities warn

Benefit given to 16 million people not mentioned in chancellor’s new support package announcement

Around 700,000 people, including 300,000 children, will be “cut adrift” into poverty at a time of surging unemployment and plummeting living standards if the government cuts the £20-a-week pandemic uplift to key social security benefits, charities have warned.

The letter reflects growing pressure on the chancellor Rishi Sunak, who failed to say whether he would protect the £20 increase, which benefits around 16 million people, when he outlined his latest Covid-19 support package last week, despite warning that the UK faced a winter of business failures and rising unemployment.

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