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Devolved administrations call for UK Gov’s Universal Credit cut to be reversed

30 Aug 2021 3 minutes Read
Money

The devolved administrations have called for the UK Government to reverse a planned cut to Universal Credit.

A letter from the UK’s three devolved Governments has been sent to the Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, Thérèse Coffey, expressing “grave concerns” regarding plans to withdraw a £20-per-week from people on low incomes.

The letter jointly signed by the Welsh Government’s Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt, Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government Shona Robison, and the Northern Ireland Executive’s Minister for Communities Deidre Hargey, criticised the UK Government.

The UK Government has said an increase in benefits to help the poorest families cope with the effects of the pandemic, will end in October, leaving claimants receiving £1,040 less a year.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation says this is the biggest overnight cut in the basic rate of social security since the creation of the modern welfare state.

The letter from the devolved administrations says: “We are writing to express the grave concerns of all three devolved administrations regarding your Department’s upcoming plans to withdraw support to the poorest in our society by allowing the £20-per-week increase to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits to expire.

“…this planned reduction means the biggest overnight reduction to a basic rate of social security since the modern welfare state began, more than 70 years ago. Failing to maintain the recent uplift to Universal Credit will increase hardship and poverty for people who are already struggling.

“To support the social and economic recovery, particularly as we ease out of the public health emergency, we urge you to reverse this decision and to strengthen the support offered by Universal Credit, instead of weakening it.

“We are concerned about the potential impact that reducing Universal Credit will have on child poverty, poverty levels and the financial health and well-being of people.”

‘Questions’ 

The letter also questions the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) stated position that the decision not to further extend or make permanent the £20-per-week increase to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits is to encourage people into work.

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 letter adds: “…how failing to maintain the uplift to Universal Credit for households in these situations encourages people into work, and are concerned about the need to ensure that it provides them with adequate financial support that takes into account their personal circumstances.”

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Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
27 days ago

The UK government can find the money for monsterous projects like HS2 or changing the customs and excise setup as a consequence of Brexit but it can’t continue to give the poorest in our communities an £20 a week. We really do live in a cruel, corrupt and unfair UK and that is one of the reasons we need to get out now.

Mark Rhydderch-Roberts
Mark Rhydderch-Roberts
27 days ago

Why should Westminster continue to fund posturing Marxist clowns? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have a different political strategy other than holding out a begging bowl and creating state dependent victimhood? Universal credit was increased to cope with the pandemic. That is now over. There are almost a million job vacancies in the UK – so why not get a job or a better job?

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
27 days ago

If you’d read the article you’d have noticed the statistics, which indicate that there are 2.2 million people who are claiming UC and are seeking work. Even ignoring the skills shortages and abysmally low pay that has led to this level of vacancies, less than half of those currently required to be available for work would have a job, and, to add insult to injury, a fair proportion of those workers would still be claiming UC because employers are allowed to pay too little. It’s also likely that the true unemployment level in the UK is around 6 million people,… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
26 days ago

It’s strange. You refer to both leaders of the devolved executives as “Marxist Clowns” for wanting to protect the most vunerable in society. Funny, It’s only a begging bowl when it affects the poor. Your priorities so wrong.

Note: The Tories spent £37 billion on a failed track & trace system. What would you call them? Like minded.

Last edited 26 days ago by Y Cymro
Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
26 days ago

You are wrong.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
26 days ago

The Tories will not listen to our Welsh or Scottish governments call not to cut the additional £20 PW Universal Credit payment which will hit hardest the working poor and weakest in society. It’s not in their nature to care. As I speak, are ramping up benefit sanctions while giving million & billionaires tax breaks. #YesCymru #Ymlaen

Gareth
Gareth
26 days ago

I am sorry to say that the requests of the devolved Govs will come to nothing, just like the ending of the furlough scheme affected us and not England, until the mood changes and protests come from England and the UK Gove feels votes may be lost in England, the other 3 countries views dont count.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
26 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

There is a lot of opposition to the withdrawal of the 20 pound uplift. There is cross-party support for its retention, (including sizeable numbers of Tories) plus widespread support from influential bodies such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Trussell Trust, the Salvation Army as well as substantial public support for its retention. Given that it’s likely to be another three years before the Tories face an election, I doubt whether the votes issue actually registers too much, but with the current economic and social situation meaning both food shortages and substantial price increases for food and gas and electricity… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by Padi Phillips
Gareth
Gareth
26 days ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

I really do hope that the payment will be retained, but the record of the current UK Gov is not good, just look back to when a football player caused them to change tack on feeding poor children in England during the holidays, and Boris “let the bodies pile up ” comment about Covid deaths. This lot don’t give a toss, the sooner we leave, as a free democratic country away from them, the better.

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