One-off UK Covid benefit may stop people working, says minister

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Thérèse Coffey was responding to MPs about replacing weekly £20 universal credit top-up

The work and pensions secretary, Thérèse Coffey, has said she is opposed to making one-off £500 or £1,000 universal credit payments in April in lieu of retaining the £20-a-week Covid top-up, warning that it could disincentivise claimants from taking a job.

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The one-off payments have been considered by the Treasury as it seeks to find a way of ending the temporary benefit uplift, due to end by April, while at the same time keeping in place a level of support for struggling families while the pandemic continues.

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