Our statement regarding the Budget

Reacting to today’s decision to extend the Universal Credit uplift by six months, Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said: 

We welcome the Government’s decision to extend the Universal Credit uplift until the end of September, but are deeply concerned by the cliff-edge effect when this ends and the potential impact this will have on millions of people’s mental health. The Government must do the right thing and ensure that people are adequately supported by making the Universal Credit uplift permanent.

“Many low-income individuals and families, who have been worst hit by the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic1, have come to depend on the uplift. Benefit levels were already too low before the uplift and have not kept pace with the cost of living2. A strong support net for those who lose their jobs is vital, both during and after the pandemic. Our research3 shows that those who are unemployed are experiencing double the rate of suicidal thoughts compared to the rest of the UK population. We must do all we can to minimise this profound distress.”

For more information on the connection between job insecurity and unemployment on mental health see the Mental Health Foundation’s recent State of a Generation report. 

Note to editors

For further information and interview requests contact [email protected] or 07702 873 939.

References: 

1: Institute for Fiscal Studies. Spending and saving during the Covid-19 crisis: evidence from bank account data. 2020. Available from: https://ifs.org.uk/uploads/BN308-Spending-and-saving-during-the-COVID-19-crisis-evidence-from-bank-account-data_2.pdf

2: Patel M. We’re facing a jobs crisis. It’s vital our benefits system is up to the challenge. Citizens Advice. 2020. Available from: https://wearecitizensadvice.org.uk/were-facing-a-jobs-crisis-it-s-vital-our-benefitssystem-is-up-to-the-challenge-44da06550861

3. Coronavirus: Mental Health in the Pandemic longitudinal study, latest findings available here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/wave-9-pre-christmas-2020

About the Mental Health Foundation:  

The Mental Health Foundation is the leading charity for everyone’s mental health. With prevention at the heart of what we do, we aim to find and address the sources of mental health problems so that people and communities can thrive. We are also the home of Mental Health Awareness Week. This takes place from 10-16 May this year and the theme is “Nature”. For more information about the Foundation visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk