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Universal credit uplift was a lifeline during the pandemic – our research shows cutting it will leave families with impossible decisions

By Ruth Patrick, Lecturer in Social Policy & Social Work, University of York
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The UK’s social security (welfare) system entered the pandemic in exceedingly poor health after years of cuts, ill-equipped to provide support to people who became ill or lost their jobs because of COVID-19.

The £20 increase to universal credit was arguably a tacit acknowledgement of the inadequacy of our system, as was the furlough scheme. Although this uplift was always badged as temporary, its removal…

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