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Lockdown causes Universal Credit claims to soar

Posted on 23 May 2020 and read 324 times
Lockdown causes Universal Credit claims to soar Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and seeking support under the Universal Credit “searching for work” conditionality rose by 69% to over two million between March and April.

Furthermore, research undertaken by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that 8% of business owners have
applied for universal credit, with 29% of those applications rejected.

Mike Cherry, the FSB’s national chairman (pictured), said: “While employees have been given some certainty about the months ahead after a much-needed extension of the job retention scheme, sole traders have been ‘left in the dark’.

“More than two million self-employed people have applied for the self-employment income support scheme, which is encouraging. However, they are now facing an imminent total earnings cliff edge, and many work in sectors that will be among the last to see restrictions eased.

He added: “Thousands are fearing for their futures and need assurances urgently. That includes those who have been left out of grant and income support initiatives entirely, not least company directors who are unable to furlough themselves.

“Keeping people in work — whether they are employees or self-employed — will be critical to reducing a scarring of the economy.”