Sunak cuts the Universal Credit taper rate to ease cost of living pressures

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Sunak cuts the Universal Credit taper rate to ease cost of living pressures
© Provided by City AM

Rishi Sunak has today cut the Universal Credit taper rate in a move that will put £2bn back into the pockets of the country’s lowest paid workers.

Sunak announced in his Budget today that the taper rate will be slashed in December from 63 per cent to 55 per cent in a move that is a part reversal of the recent Universal Credit cut.

This means that low-wage workers, below the allowances threshold, will keep 45p out of each £1 of their Universal Credit payments instead of 37p.

Sunak said the policy will mean that 2m families in the UK will get £1,000-a-year boost to their income.

This will offset the £1,000-a-year cut to Universal Credit, however it will not benefit those that are completely out of work.

Sunak likened the taper rate to “a tax on work”.

“This is a £2bn tax cut for the lowest paid workers in our country,” he said.

“It supports working families, it helps with the cost of living and it rewards work.”

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a think tank founded by former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, said: “This simple but radical step will allow working families to keep more of their hard earned cash.” 

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a charity aimed at reducing poverty, said the taper rate and the increase in the National Living Wage to £9.50 were “very positive steps”, but that “the reality is that millions of people who are unable to work or looking for work will not benefit from these changes”.

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