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Another six months of support – but millions will struggle far beyond September

The Money Advice Trust has welcomed six month extensions of various forms of financial support in today’s Budget – including furlough, the Universal Credit uplift and Self-employment Income Support Scheme grants – but warned that millions will struggle far beyond September.

Joanna Elson CBE, Chief Executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said:

“Another six months of support – whether through furlough, the Universal Credit uplift or small business grants – will come as a relief for many. Fast forward to September, however, and millions of households will still be facing financial difficulty caused by Covid-19.

“The Government must be prepared to extend its £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit beyond September if the continued economic impact of the pandemic demands it – which is all but certain to be the case. This decision needs to be taken early, and not left until a month before the uplift ends. The Chancellor said today that business needs certainty – households do, too.

“The extension of the Self-Employment Income Support is welcome, particularly for the newly self-employed who are now eligible for help. Owner-directors have yet again been excluded, however – and we urge the Government to urgently bring forward plans for how it can help, including through a discretionary grant scheme.”

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