Overall, I agreed with Amelia Washbourne's recent letter about the cut to Universal Credit (UC).

From October 6, 2021, UC is scheduled to decrease from £411.51 to £324.84 per month for a single person (ie from £94.96 to £74.96 weekly).

There has been considerable media interest about this. Less known is that claimants on 'legacy' benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) did not receive the £20 temporary uplift.

The rate remained at £74.70 weekly for a single person. As very few people could make ends meet on £94.96, the uplift should continue for Universal Credit and be extended to legacy benefits.

Pension Credit, designed to prevent poverty in old age, ensures that a single pensioner has a weekly income of at least £177.10.

Whilst benefit rates for working-age people, obviously, should be lower, they are far too low in the fifth wealthiest country in the world.

Ways to pay for it include restricting pension tax relief to 20%, increase the tax take from multinationals and abolish non-domiciled tax status.

Fiona Reid

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