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BPS leads calls for the government to keep £20 Universal Credit uplift to avoid decades of health inequality

04 February 2021

We’ve joined forces with other major health organisations in a joint letter to urge the government to keep the £20 uplift to universal credit and extend the same support to those on legacy benefits.

Along with leading royal colleges and health bodies we state that without the £20 uplift, millions of families will be swept into poverty with the result being a reduction in the health, wellbeing, and life chances of children and young people for decades to come.

We must view the investment in the social security system as an investment in the nation’s health, and cutting the uplift will result in deepening health inequalities, hitting the most vulnerable.

Commenting on the publication of the letter, Dr Hazel McLaughlin, President of the British Psychological Society, said:

“Today’s letter is the first time a coalition of health bodies and organisations have joined forces to urge the government to keep the £20 uplift to universal credit, a lifeline for so many families during this pandemic.

As organisations working across health and care, we know the links between poverty and poor physical and mental health.

Without investment in the health and wellbeing of our nation, particularly those on the lowest incomes, the pandemic threatens to entrench health inequalities for generations to come. 

In this challenging time, together we call for the government to extend the uplift to bring security to the most vulnerable when they need it most.”

The following letter has been signed by:

  • Association of Directors of Public Health
  • British Association of Social Workers
  • British Psychological Society
  • Faculty of Public Health
  • Institute of Health Equity
  • Mind
  • Royal College of General Practitioners 
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Royal Society of Public Health
  • The Association of Mental Health Providers
  • The Mental Health Network of the NHS Confederation


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