Coronavirus: information and updates

Scope Responds to 2021 Budget

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has delivered the 2021 Budget, and in response James Taylor, Executive Director of Strategy, Impact and Social Change, said:

"The Government must do whatever it takes to support disabled people in the nation's recovery from Coronavirus. The £20 uplift in Universal Credit last year was an enormous help to those hit hardest by the pandemic, and 59% of the public support making it permanent [1]. A temporary extension isn't enough; another 6 months would mean the uplift ending just as unemployment is set to peak. This creates the very real risk of plunging many disabled people into poverty. Scope want to see this uplift made permanent, and extended to legacy benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance.

We're pleased to see that the furlough scheme has been extended but, 2 weeks ago, 1.7 million more people were told to begin shielding, and we know that many more disabled people won't feel able to leave their homes until they've received their vaccine, possibly months from now. Disabled people who are shielding need to have an automatic right to furlough, so they are not forced to choose between their health and their finances."

[1] Polling by the Health Foundation found that 59 per cent of the public support making the UC uplift permanent.

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