Ending universal credit boost will hit sickest areas the hardest, study shows

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Patrick Butler and Heather Stewart

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New research finds scrapping the £1,000-a-year benefit uplift will ‘trigger mental illness and poorer health’ for thousands

Scrapping the £1,000-a-year boost to universal credit next month will trigger mental illness and poorer health for thousands of people, and hit the sickest areas of the UK hardest, new research suggests.

Boris Johnson’s commitment to “levelling up” is thrown into doubt by the Health Foundation study, which comes as ministers are already facing criticism for a national insurance hike that will leave low-paid workers hundreds of pounds out of pocket. The ditching of the universal credit (UC) uplift, 19 months after it was brought in amid the pandemic, will be significantly worse for the poorest households.

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