Which Welsh constituencies will be hit hardest by ‘damaging’ cut to Universal Credit?
New research has revealed which Welsh constituencies will be hardest hit by a “damaging” £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit.
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, which conducted the analysis, says this is the biggest overnight cut in the basic rate of social security since the creation of the modern welfare state.
Of the top 10 hardest hit areas in Wales, nine are in Labour constituencies, and one is in a seat held by the Conservatives.
The constituencies are Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff West, Conon Valley, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, Newport East, Newport West, Rhondda, Swansea East, Torfaen and the Vale of Clwyd.
The worst hit constituency in Wales is Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney where 27% of families are in receipt of universal credit or working tax credits. The seat is held by Labour MP Gerald Jones
The only Conservative constituency in the top 10 hardest hit areas in Wales is the Vale of Clwyd where 26% of families are in receipt of universal credit or working tax credits. The sitting MP is James Davies, who has a majority of 1827.
In the constituency there are 7,490 families in receipt of universal credit or working tax credits.
According to the analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a total of 6 million low-income families across Great Britain will lose £1,040 from their annual income.
It says this will create serious financial hardship and leave 500,000 people to be swept into poverty – including 200,000 children.
The areas in Wales with the highest percentage of families in receipt of universal credit or working tax credits:
Blaenau Gwent – 25% – Labour
Cardiff West – 24% – Labour
Cynon Valley – 25% – Labour
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney – 27% Labour
Newport East – 26% – Labour
Newport West – 24% – Labour
Rhondda – 26% – Labour
Swansea East – 26% – Labour
Torfaen – 26% – Labour
Vale of Clwyd – 26% – Conservative
Katie Schmuecker, Deputy Director of Policy & Partnerships at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “We are just over a month away from the UK Government imposing the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the Second World War.
“This latest analysis lays bare the deep and far-reaching impact that cutting Universal Credit will have on millions of low-income families across Britain.
“MPs from across the political spectrum are already expressing their deep concerns about this planned cut. Now is the time for all MPs to step up and oppose this cut to their constituents’ living standards.
“Plunging low-income families into deeper poverty and debt as well as sucking billions of pounds out of local economies is no way to level up. It’s not too late for the Prime Minister and Chancellor to listen to the huge opposition to this damaging cut and change course.”
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