Government cuts £20 Universal Credit uplift

The removal of the uplift to universal credit could potentially affect grocery habits

Universal Credit puts pressure on independent retailers

Independent retailers expect to see a reduction in “spontaneous purchases”, following the removal of the £20 a week increase made to Universal Credit during the pandemic.

Prime minister Boris Johnson introduced the weekly increase to support struggling families at the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Deputy council leader of Manchester City Council, Bev Craig warned the reduction will hit residents’ ability to buy “essentials such as food and fuel”.

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One retailer, who wishes to remain anonymous told Better Retailing the change is likely to affect sales, but it will be “gradual”.

Located in a deprived area, he said: “I don’t think it will be an obvious difference, but the location of my store is in a low-income area, so I predict that a lot of the residents in my area may rely on universal credit.”

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“There is a chance that the decrease may eventually affect the sales of grocery and spending habits. I predict I may see a reduction in spontaneous purchases.”

Another anonymous retailer shared with Better Retailing that the uplift may cause problems in the future.

He said: “There are a lot of food banks in my area, with a lot of people heavily relying on them. That’s why this reduction is going to hit people in my area badly and I am concerned that it could affect spending habits in my store, it is something to keep an eye out for.”


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