UK's Johnson, Sunak agree to extend universal credit benefit: The Times

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak attend a news conference amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Downing Street in London, Britain, October 22, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/Pool

(Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and finance minister Rishi Sunak have agreed in principle to extend a 20 pound($26.31) weekly increase in universal credit for 6 million people at a cost of 6 billion pounds ($7.89 billion), The Times reported on Saturday.

A final decision is yet to be made, the report said, citing Treasury sources, adding that both Sunak and Johnson are open to the idea. The move is likely to be announced in the budget next year, the newspaper said.

Britain increased the state-paid benefit by 1,000 pounds a year in March this year to support workers and those who might lose their jobs during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Treasury did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Reuters late on Friday.

($1 = 0.7601 pounds)

Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler