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The Telegraph

Rishi Sunak doubles one-off payment offer for universal credit claimants to £1,000

Rishi Sunak has doubled his offer of a one-off payment to millions of universal credit claimants to £1,000 to replace the weekly £20 uplift, and stave off a growing rebellion among Tory MPs. The Chancellor is hoping that paying an upfront sum could trigger a spending spree to help the economy, The Telegraph understands. Businesses are set to be hit with a double whammy of tax rises in March’s budget, however, as Mr Sunak is lining up a gradual reintroduction of business rates and a rise in corporation tax. Writing in The Telegraph, Andrew Griffith MP, a former business adviser to Boris Johnson in 10 Downing Street, backed an increase in corporation tax. He writes: “Today the UK has the lowest corporation tax rate in the G7. Increasing corporation tax rates towards the £1 in every £4 of business profits rate, last seen as recently as 2013, would still see the UK be one of the most internationally competitive economies, particularly if accompanied by modernisation of R&D tax credits and the Government’s ambitious investment in skills.” The £20 a week uplift in universal credit during the pandemic is due to end on March 31 and Mr Sunak is under pressure from Tory MPs in traditionally Labour areas to extend it. However, the Chancellor is said to be loath to continue it, fearing that it would then become a permanent increase costing £6 billion a year. Instead, he is offering to pay the uplift for a year in one £1,000 payment, twice as much as the £500 one-off sum previously reported. A Treasury source declined to comment on the specifics but confirmed that a one off payment was on the table.



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