CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak insists the government is “not done helping people” despite controversially ending the £20 uplift in Universal Credit.

The extra benefit, a boost for the poor during the Covid pandemic, will be scrapped from September 30, a measure that will affect approximately six million familie.

Opposition politicians, union leaders and anti-poverty campaigners have urged ministers to make the uplift permanent.

Mr Sunak said: “That was always meant to be a temporary intervention, that was clear from the outset.

“Like furlough and the other things we’ve done, some will start to ease off but we’re not done helping people get through this.”

He said the Government’s Kickstart scheme was “a great example of us using our muscle, using the might of the government to help particularly young people find new work”.

Asked about families who may find themselves in poverty when the uplift ends, he said: “There’s lots of different ways we can help those people.

“What we’re doing is providing support in a way that will sustainably help those people.

“I think the right thing is to help those families into really high-paid work, that’s the best way to help those children.

“We know that children growing up in a workless household are five times more likely to be in poverty than those that don’t.

“That tells me that the best way to help those children is to help their parents find really good jobs.”

Mr Sunak also discussed the phasing-out of the furlough scheme, saying it had saved “millions of jobs” but the Government’s focus was now on getting people back into work.

He added: “All the data we’re seeing about the labour market is really positive.

“A year ago people were expecting unemployment in our country to peak at 12 per cent, 1980s levels.

“If you asked them now, they think it will peak at a level half of that – that’s two million people fewer out of work than we feared a year ago.

“Unemployment in this country is lower than in most of our competitor nations.”