Jon Cruddas condemns 'harrowing' impact of removing Universal Credit uplift

Jon Cruddas MP

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography - Official Parliamentary Portrait

The Dagenham and Rainham MP has called on the government to keep a Universal Credit uplift in light of new analysis showing thousands of working-age families in the borough will be affected.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, the government increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £20 a week.

However, this increased rate is due to come to an end on October 6.

This is part of the government's Plan for Jobs scheme, which aims to help people "boost their skills and get into work, progress in work or increase their hours", a spokesperson said. 

However, figures from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation released on August 26 showed 13,710 (29 per cent) of working-age families and 8,380 (50pc) of working-age families with children across Dagenham and Rainham will be adversely impacted by the proposal.

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MP for the areas, Jon Cruddas, said: "These statistics are harrowing and show just how damaging a Tory government is to families in Dagenham and Rainham.

"Reports are suggesting that this will be the biggest single cut to social security since the foundation of the welfare state, and it will be people in the most deprived communities that are hit hardest.”

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The foundation's report suggests the move will create "serious financial hardship" for millions of families across the UK, including 200,000 children who will be "swept into poverty".

It found 21pc of all working-age families claiming Universal Credit will suffer a £1,040-a-year cut to their incomes.

Over 400 constituencies are set to see over one in three working-age families with children hit by the decision.

Furthermore, families with children will be "disproportionately impacted" and six in 10 of all single-parent families in the UK will be affected.

It said: "The government is rightly saying that it wants to support people back into work as we emerge from the crisis. But working families make up the majority of families who will be affected."

The government spokesperson said: “The temporary uplift to Universal Credit was designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and it has done so.

“Universal Credit will continue to provide a vital safety net and with record vacancies available, alongside the successful vaccination rollout, it’s right that we now focus on our Plan for Jobs, helping claimants to increase their earnings by boosting their skills and getting into work, progressing in work or increasing their hours.”

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