Failure to reinstate Universal Credit uplift described as a ‘moral stain’ on the UK
The UK Conservative Governments’ decision not to restore the universal credit uplift introduced during the Covid pandemic has been described as a “moral stain on the UK” by the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.
The £20 universal credit uplift was scrapped last autumn, with an estimated 280,000+ people across Wales affected, 37 per cent of whom are in work.
The typical Welsh family on Universal Credit will also be hit by Rishi Sunak’s tax rises and benefit cuts in addition to a 10% rise in food bills and a rise in heating costs of over 50%.
A 3.1% benefits increase came into effect on Monday, well short of the current inflation rate, which is expected to hit 7.7% this month.
According to analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation poverty charity, this will result in the greatest fall in the value of the basic rate of unemployment benefit in 50 years.
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds said: “The decision not to reinstate the universal credit uplift is having a devastating effect in Wales and the Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign for it to be reinstated.
“We have families who are working two jobs but on universal credit who are unable to afford to feed themselves.
“People’s lives are being completely ruined because of this. People’s physical health and mental health are being placed at serious risk. One out of three children in Wales already grow up in poverty and the UK Government is making it worse. It is utterly shameful.
“The UK is the 5th largest economy in the world. It is a moral stain on our country that the Conservatives and Rishi Sunak are choosing to allow so many vulnerable people to fall through the cracks.
“At the same time, he is raising taxes and cutting benefits, Sunak’s family has avoided paying an estimated £20 million in UK taxes.
“This Conservative Government is out-of-touch, incompetent and lacking in basic empathy. It must be booted out at the next general election and the upcoming local elections will be a chance for voters in Wales to express their dissatisfaction with the way things are going.”
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