Johnson government rolls out Kickstart youth cheap labour scheme
Harvey Thompson and Robert Stevens
28 September 2020
There are almost 538,000 young people under 25 years of age on Universal Credit (UC), a rise of around 250,000 from March when a temporary national lockdown went into effect.
UC, established in 2010 as part of austerity cuts to eradicate £12 billion in welfare spending by 2020, merges all previous state benefits into one payment. As planned, this led to huge cuts in the value of benefits overall and increased hardship of the poorest families. Many workers in the lowest paid employment are in receipt of UC, as well as the unemployed.
Within two months of lockdown starting, 2.4 million more people were forced to claim UC for the first time. More than 1.6 million families—two in five households on UC—had an average sum of £60 deducted in May to cover