Government pushes ahead with planned cut to millions of families’ incomes
Reports in The Times this morning have revealed that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak intends to push ahead with the cut to Universal Credit and working tax credits that will see 6 million families lose £20 a week, or £1040 a year, from April. The cut is equivalent to the cost of an average family’s annual electricity, gas and internet bills combined.
Ahead of a crunch vote, the government is reportedly attempting to head off a Conservative rebellion on the issue by offering a lump sum equal to more than a fifty percent cut and, unlike an extension of the UC uplift, will do nothing for people who need support further down the line should they lose their jobs.
50 Conservative Northern Research Group MPs, two former Conservative Work and Pensions Secretaries and dozens of charities and campaign groups have called on the Chancellor to stop the planned cut. Labour will force a vote on the issue in the House of Commons on Monday and is urging Conservative MPs to vote with the party.
Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow DWP Secretary, said:
“Britain is facing the worst economic crisis of any major economy. The chancellor’s decision to wind down support with his cut to universal credit will be devastating for families already struggling to get by and leave unemployment support at a 30 year low.
“Bringing in a one off payment that doesn’t even equal half the amount the government is planning to cut from millions of families’ incomes will damage our recovery. With jobs being lost each day and the furlough cliff edge looming, a lump sum rather than extended support will leave many to fall through the gaps.
“Instead of yet another inadequate sticking plaster, the government needs to do the right thing and cancel the cut to universal credit. If the chancellor refuses, we urge Conservative MPs to vote with Labour on Monday to give families the security and support they need.”
Notes to editors
- The Chief Executive of the Resolution Foundation has criticised the Chancellor’s plans https://twitter.com/TorstenBell/status/1350359485567660035?s=20
- Reports in The Times this morning have revealed the Chancellor Rishi Sunak intends to push ahead with the cut to universal credit and working tax credits https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/rishi-sunak-plans-500-gift-for-benefit-claimants-to-avoid-tory-uprising-8qcl6j2pm
- 50 Tory MPs representing seats in the North and Midlands have called on the chancellor to extend the universal credit increase. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/red-wall-mps-in-north-of-england-and-midlands-push-rishi-sunak-for-help-v58wnw037
- Two former Conservative DWP secretaries, Stephen Crabb and Iain Duncan Smith, have called on the government to scrap the cut https://twitter.com/scrabbpembs/status/1350001052649742338?s=21, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/red-wall-tories-want-johnson-to-do-a-u-turn-dhgx205xg
- Money advice service estimates the average monthly electricity bill is £34, gas bill is £33 and average broadband bill is £30.30, giving a combined monthly cost of £97.30 or annual cost of £1167.60
- Labour’s Opposition Day debate motion that will be debated on Monday, reads:
Mr Nicholas Brown
Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit
That this House believes that the Government should stop the planned cut in Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit in April and give certainty today to the six million families for whom it is worth an extra £1,000 a year.