To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the total cost of universal credit has been to the Exchequer in each of the last five years; and what the cost per annum is of the £20 per week uplift.
18 October 2021
Extending the £20 increase by 12 months would cost over £6 billion per year, roughly equivalent to adding 1p on the basic rate of income tax and an additional 3p increase in fuel duty.
Actual and forecast Universal Credit expenditure are published in the Benefit Expenditure and Caseload Tables and can be found in, Table 1a and Table 1b, at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/953118/outturn-and-forecast-autumn-budget-2020-revised.xlsx
The Department for Work and Pensions estimates the temporary Universal Credit £20 uplift, in 2020/2021, cost around £5bn and estimates the six month extension in 2021 cost around £2.2bn in Great Britain, which can be found here: Economic and fiscal outlook - March 2021 - Office for Budget Responsibility (obr.uk) - Welfare spending, 3.79 to 3.83 on pages 133 to 134.