Wales TUC: UK Gov are ‘levelling down’ Wales with Universal Credit cuts
Planned cuts to Universal Credit will impact ‘tens of thousands’ of working families, Wales TUC has warned.
The union body says it will be ‘levelling down’ Wales with 280,000 people made worse off by the UK Government’s scheduled £20 cut to the weekly benefit.
Work and Pensions Secretary Theresa Coffey justified the reduction earlier this month on the grounds that it would help to get people ‘back into work’.
But analysis by Wales TUC suggests that more than a third (37.1 per cent) of those hit in Wales will be working families – many of them key worker households.
Shavanah Taj, General Secretary of Wales TUC said: “Everyone should have enough money to live on. But if the Universal Credit cut goes ahead tens of thousands of working families in Wales – including key workers – will be forced to get by on much less every week.
“It is levelling down – not levelling up. UK ministers should abandon this cruel cut that will hit low-income working families.”
The UK Government is planning to reduce Universal Payments by £20 a week this autumn after the rate was lifted during the pandemic.
A call for the higher rate period to be extended has received cross-party support with charities warning that the planned cut could force hundreds of thousands into poverty.
Shavanah Taj added: “We need a social security system that helps people get back on their feet – not one that locks them in poverty. And we need decent jobs on decent pay for every worker, in every part of the country.
“That means increasing the minimum wage, investing to create good green jobs and tackling the scourge of insecure work. Cutting universal credit isn’t the way to achieve decent work.”
In a recent speech on his ‘levelling up’ agenda, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted that the UK has a more unbalanced economy than any other major country.