Labour Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales, Eluned Morgan has spoken of her fears over the upcoming £20 weekly cut to universal credit payments, warning that cuts will leave thousands in her region unable to cover basic living costs from food to energy bills.
She said that the removal of the £1,040 annual uplift, coupled with impending hikes in food and energy prices, would result in nearly 35,000 of her constituents facing a difficult and uncertain winter.
“We are really concerned about the impact this will have on poverty levels and the financial health and wellbeing of people,” said the Welsh Labour politician.
“To support the social and economic recovery, particularly as we ease out of the public health emergency, we urged the UK Government to reverse their decision and to strengthen the support offered by Universal Credit, instead of weakening it.”
The £20 weekly uplift to universal credit and tax credits was introduced in April 2020 at the start of the pandemic. It is due to be withdrawn on October 6th, despite warnings from Citizens Advice that it will push an estimated 2.3 million into debt.
The latest UK Government statistics show that of the 6 million people on Universal Credit, 2.2 million are already working and 1.6 million are not required to work due to health and caring responsibilities that prevent them from seeking employment.
The Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales said, “In Llanelli, 6,179 people rely on universal credit to support their income. A cut of £20 for many will mean the difference between heating and eating this winter, as the UK government increases the cap of energy prices and Brexit threatens the price of food and other essentials.
“The government justifies the cut by saying its focus is to move people into jobs, but they are completely missing the point – 40% of claimants are already in work! This decision is morally corrupt and will quite simply condemn millions of families to immense, immediate and avoidable hardship.”
Eluned, who previously held a series of money advice sessions across Mid & West Wales is urging her constituents to add their name to Unite The Union’s #CancelTheCut petition calling on the UK government to listen to the growing number of voices expressing concern and re-think their plans to cut universal credit payments.
On Friday 24th September at 2.30pm, Eluned will be hosting a free online Universal Credit & energy efficiency event with Citizens Advice & the Welsh Government’s NEST scheme, overviewing changes to the welfare system and promoting resources to help people keep warm and save money on energy bills this winter.
Online Advice Event Registration: https://bit.ly/EMUniCredit
Unite Petition: www.unitetheunion.org/campaigns/cancel-the-cut/