At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, in an admission from the Government that the level of support was inadequate, they increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £20 per week. Next month the Tory’s are cutting this increase. In East Newcastle this will affect 9,360 households who claim Universal Credit, 35% of which are in employment.
I have consistently called for the £20 per week uplift to be made permanent until Labour is in a position to replace Universal Credit with a more compassionate system. Earlier this year I was one of the lead sponsors on Labour’s Opposition Day motion in Parliament. The House of Commons voted in favour of keeping the uplift. Labour had planned to force another vote on this in the Commons last week, however, the Government pulled our Opposition Day. This is likely to be rescheduled when I will vote against the cut again.