Think the Tories are less nasty now? See what they do with universal credit | John Harris
The £20 uplift is all that keeps many families afloat, even those who work. Yet it’s due to end within weeks
As the days get shorter and autumn slowly comes into view, you can feel it: a deep sense of public foreboding, perhaps best summarised as the growing realisation that business as usual is turning out to be nothing of the kind.
People’s anxieties are focused on everything from the closure of the furlough scheme to the fate of an increasingly under-pressure NHS. But for millions, there is no greater source of worry than the end of the so-called £20 weekly “uplift” to universal credit. Scheduled for 6 October, it’s now being confirmed in messages sent via online benefit accounts, and sowing the kind of cold fear that defines far too many British lives. That is the human story: in political terms, the move surely calls time on hopes that Covid-19 might have somehow marked the birth of a less nasty Tory approach to the benefits system.