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Universal credit claimants working less than 18 hours must now look for more work

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 'Welfare should always be a safety net, and not a lifestyle choice'

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Universal Credit claimants from across Gedling borough working less than 18 hours a week will now have to look for more work.

As part of changes to the welfare system, ministers are raising the administrative earnings threshold from the equivalent of 15 hours to 18 hours at national living wage for an individual claimant.

Those working less than half of a full-time week will now have to meet their work coach more often to boost their earnings, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Welfare should always be a safety net, and not a lifestyle choice.

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“Today’s changes will help more people on Universal Credit move into well paid jobs and progress towards financial independence – which is better for them and for the economy.”

The change impacts those earning below £892 a month or £1,437 for couples. This is up from £617 for individuals and £988 for couples, according to the DWP.

Those affected will have to meet more frequently with their work coach to up their earnings.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride MP said: “We will always back those who want to work hard, and today we are radically expanding the support available to help people progress in work.

“Our plan is making work pay, with people in full-time work now £7,000 better off than on out of work benefits, and our tax cuts putting £900 back in the pockets of millions of workers across Britain.

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“The Government is clear those who can work to support themselves, should work, and they should feel better off for doing so.

“That’s why the Government is getting tough, putting work at the heart of welfare and enforcing a stricter sanctions regime.”

“With over 900,000 job vacancies in the economy, the Government makes no apologies for helping people achieve financial security through work, as we grow the economy and help people build a better life for themselves.”

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