Figures this week show the shocking rise in families claiming Universal Credit across Garston and Halewood during the pandemic, just as Boris Johnson’s government prepares to bring the £20 uplift to Universal Credit recipients to an end.
Taking away this uplift will hit the lowest paid hardest and hurt our economic recovery, especially as the end of furlough will force thousands more to apply for Universal Credit. Nationally, this cut will impact 6 million families, many of which rely on that extra £20 to put food on the table at the end of the week. It leaves employment support at a 30-year low.
In Garston and Halewood Universal Credit recipients went up by 88% between February 2020 and February 2021, rising from 4,970 households to 9,324. That’s almost 10,000 families locally having to claim Universal Credit, and these figures will have already risen again since February. They can’t afford to lose £1000 a year.
What this shows is that the Tories don’t understand how real people live, with that £20 often being the difference between food on the table and money on the meter. Yet they are still using this cut to make ordinary people pay for their mishandling of the Covid crisis, despite Labour, the public, dozens of charities and community groups, plus 6 previous Conservative Work and Pensions Secretaries of State, all agreeing this payment should remain in place.
I’m calling on the Conservatives to drop this cruel and uncaring cut to Universal Credit. Those 10,000 families locally can’t afford to carry the can for more Tory mismanagement, but that’s exactly what’s happening.
This government needs to see sense, back struggling families and cancel the cut.