When pressed on if the government are considering any changes to Universal Credit Simon Clarke responded by saying: “Our action on Universal Credit as focussed in December on what was a major change in terms of the taper rate, the withdrawal rate of benefits as earnings go up, allowing people to keep much more of what they earn. That’s effectively a tax cut for two million people and its worth and average of £1,000.”
He said the Government was “making universal credit more generous”.
Simon Clarke’s boss, Rishi Sunak, has actually cut Universal Credit by £1,000 per year. The policy Mr Clarke is talking about here only applies to the 40% of people receiving the benefit who are actually in work. It wont make a difference to the remaining 60% - 5.3million claimants - who aren’t in work. The overwhelming majority have lost £1,000 and not gained it.
The latest annual poverty statistics show the chancellor’s decision to axe the £20 per week uplift rescinded 400,000 children back into poverty.
Simon Clarke was misleading BBC TV viewers. We approached the Treasury press office and Mr Clarke’s office to give him a chance to comment, but received no response.