End of Universal Credit uplift today undermines levelling up of the arts

"Today’s withdrawal of the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit directly undermines the Culture Secretary’s recent commitment to level up opportunities in the arts.

"The pandemic has already compounded our industries’ historical problem of elitism by disproportionately impacting under-represented groups and especially those from working class backgrounds. By removing this vital safety net for many creative practitioners, the government is now making it even harder for those without a privileged background to break into and remain in entertainment.

"Our recent impact survey found that 65% of Equity members currently rely on Universal Credit and other welfare to stay in the industry and 53% of claimants would experience financial hardship with the removal of the £20 uplift. We urge the government to do the right thing and reverse this damaging decision."

Paul W Fleming
General Secretary