EASTBOURNE Foodbank says the government must do more to help the poor in the town.

It wants the temporary £20 increase in Universial Credit and Working Tax Credit made permanent.

Foodbank is run by The Trussell Trust, which has now written to the Treasury demanding the move.

The yearlong hike was introduced in April, after the UK went into lockdown, to help those who had lost their jobs.

But there are no signs it will be extended beyond next April.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak last week outlined his Winter Economy Plan, but there was no commitment to keeping the temporary Universal Credit increase.

Now some 50 children’s charities, food bank providers, housing organisations, benefit and debt advisors, disability groups, and others say if this “lifeline” is cut it risks plunging struggling households into poverty.

“Falling incomes and rising costs throughout the pandemic have put families under immense financial pressure, but the £20 uplift has been a lifeline that has enabled many of them to keep their heads above water and has stopped us seeing a marked surge in poverty levels,” the coalition of groups say in a letter to the chancellor.