Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced today that the Universal Credit taper rate is to be cut by 8%.
Mr Sunak confirmed that the taper rate – the amount of Universal Credit that gets withdrawn for every pound that a claimant earns through work – will be slashed from 63p to 55p on the pound, in an announcement to MPs in the House of Commons this afternoon..
In what was one of the final points addressed as he unveiled the 2021 Autumn Budget and Spending Review, Mr Sunak said that he wants to live in a society that “rewards work”.
In real terms, it means that £2bn pounds a year is being put back into Universal Credit following the £6bn lost by claimants following the end of the weekly £20 uplift.
He said that the cut to the taper rate “takes a first step” towards that vision.
However, the taper rate changes will only increase the income of those Universal Credit claimants that are currently in work.
Still, with 40% of claimants also working in jobs at least part-time, the Chancellor’s announcement does mean that many will be able to keep more of their benefits.
The changes will be introduced this year, no later than 1 December 2021.
It’s a tax cut next year worth over £2bn, he says, that will “benefit nearly two million families who will keep, on average, an extra £1,000 a year”.
It is the first change made to the Universal Credit taper rate in five years.
Taking to Twitter following the Autumn Budget 2021 announcement to explain the cut to the taper rate in a series of tweets, Mr Sunak said: “We are cutting the Universal Credit Taper Rate not by 1%, not by 2% – but by 8%. From 63p to 55p.
“The Taper Rate withdraws support gradually as people work more hours. It is currently 63%, so for every extra £1 someone earns, their Universal Credit is reduced by 63p. Let’s call this what it is: a tax on work – and a high rate of tax at that – so to make sure work pays, and help some of the lowest income families keep more of their hard-earned money, I have decided that the UC Taper Rate will be cut, not by 1p or even 2p – but by 8p.
“This is a tax on working people – and I’m cutting it from 63p to 55p.”
He then added: “I’m also increasing the Work Allowances by £500, this is a tax cut next year of £2.2 billion, so nearly 2 million families will keep, on average, an extra £1,000 a year.
“We’ll introduce not in April as normal but within weeks, and no later than December 1st.”
Mr Sunak claimed during his announcement that a single mother of two could be better off by around £1,200 a year, while a couple renting a home with two children could be better off by around £1,800.
You can find more the 2021 Autumn Budget in full on the gov.uk website here.
Herd of Santas descend on Manchester healthcare clinic for pre-Christmas ‘elf check’
A gaggle of Santas have been spotted visiting Pall Mall Medical healthcare clinic in Manchester city centre, getting their ‘elf checks’ in before Christmas.
The group were also joined by TV doctor Dr Hilary Jones, who has issued a stark health warning ahead of the festive season – especially for Father Christmas who doesn’t exactly have the healthiest lifestyle.
So scores of Saint Nicks gathered in Manchester today for an exclusive appointment with Dr Hilary ahead of their 41 million mile journey on Christmas Eve.
The private healthcare clinic on King Street, right in the heart of Manchester, will be offering health screens for everyone, with 20% off in December.
Today’s event at Pall Mall Medical was demonstrating the seasonal once-overs offered there with its ‘Santa Stop Here – Free Elf Check’.
It’s estimated that in one day, Santa Clause eats 2.3 billion mince pies and guzzles 138,389,578 litres of sherry – the same as 55 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or 181 million times the recommended weekly intake.
Concerned Dr Hilary, who is Pall Mall’s ambassador for health screens, said these eye-popping statistics justify Father C is in dire need of an elf MOT.
The health checks can detect ailments from prostate cancer to heart issues.
Dr Hilary said: “When you digest the figures, it’s a miracle Santa is still going strong.
“A lifestyle like his could lead to chronic fatigue at best – diabetes or heart disease at worst.
“We all love a mince pie or three during the festive season, but without sounding too much like a nutcracker he is going way Ho Ho Ho-verboard!
“Of course, Christmas is a time to indulge, but it is still smart to limit food and drink on the naughty list.
“Hopefully, Santa will take note and adopt an elfier lifestyle this year, so he doesn’t become a ghost of Christmas future next year!”
Watch more on Pall Mall Medical here:
Dr Chun Tang Medical Director of Pall Mall, who conducted the Santas private health screens added: “There is nothing more important than health and prevention is better than cure. A private health screen can detect issues before they become a serious medical concern.”
Throughout December Pall Mall Medical is gifting people a discount on private health screens to mark the festive period.
Simply quote ‘Ho Ho Ho’ at the reception desk and receive 20% off a Well Woman or Well Man health screens throughout December, and quote WINTER10 for 10% off GP appointments.
Manchester gaming bar NQ64 claps back at one-star review harassing its staff
A popular gaming bar in Manchester has clapped back at a one-star review that attacked a staff memberby calling them a ‘progressive student gimp’ for wearing a crop top.
NQ64, which has two sites in Manchester – one in the Northern Quarter, and a second on Peter Street – hit out at the rude reviewer this weekend in an act of bartender solidarity. The bar shared the insulting review, left by username Corbin A, to its Instagram page on Sunday alongside a sunny picture of its bar team: all wearing crop tops and grinning sassily into the camera.
The caption on its response post, which has already been liked over 2,200 times, read: “This one’s for you, Corbs – stay progressive x” with a peace sign emoji.
The full one-star review from the unimpressed Corbin A, who has left three reviews on the platform in total, read: “Half your time in there is spent stood waiting to go on games, the other half is watching some progressive student gimp in a crop top take 10 minutes to pour you one drink while he tries to act like a bartender making random throwing movements with glasses and bottles.”
Commenting underneath, followers chimed in thick and fast with their support for the bar and its staff, with one writing: “Please start selling crop tops that say ‘Progressive Student Gimp.'”
Another person said: “Bar staff solidarity! You love to see it ❤️ still the best bar(s) in Manchester.”
A third wrote: “f*ck yeah. This is why I love you guys!!”
A fourth added: “That review should surely be 5 stars! I mean this is a bloody good reason to go, no?!”
Full of retro arcade games and classic consoles, gaming fans can sip on cocktails, craft beers and spirit mixers whilst playing all of their favourites – including the likes of Pac-Man, Time Crisis 2 and Guitar Hero will be additions such as the Mario Kart arcade game, Time Crisis 3 and NBA Jam.
Arcade games are played using a token system, whilst elsewhere there are a selection MegaDrive, PlayStations, GameCube and Super Nintendo consoles for people to get stuck into.