More than 5,000 people in Barrow could lose "lifeline" funding as the Government prepares to axe a pandemic-inspired benefits boost.

Since March 2020, Universal Credit claimants have been receiving an extra £20 a week to help them mitigate the financial impact of Covid-19.

Despite calls to make the uplift permanent, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed recently that it would be scrapped this autumn as it had always been intended as a temporary measure.

Data from the Department of Work and Pensions shows that in May, there were 5,279 Universal Credit claimants in Barrow – 2,146 (41%) of whom were in employment.

That figure has grown by 85% since February 2020 – shortly before the coronavirus pandemic hit – when there were 2,847 people in the area claiming the benefit.