MP COLUMN: Change to Universal Credit will be the biggest cut in social security

As the Prime Minister rises to make his keynote Conference speech, six million families will be facing a cut in their household income of more than £1,000 a year.

By Alan Campbell, Tynemouth MP
Friday, 3rd September 2021, 6:00 am
Alan Campbell, Tynemouth MP.
Alan Campbell, Tynemouth MP.

At the start of the pandemic the Government understandably increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £20 a week.

That lifeline was a big help to struggling families but on October 6, the Government is going to take it away.

Across the North East more than a quarter of a million families will be affected.

In Tynemouth Constituency alone there are 7,450 families affected, most with children. The £20 increase was more than just “a bit extra” in difficult times, the money is an integral part of family income.

Citizens Advice estimates that the cut will pull around 2.3 million people families into debt.

This would be the biggest overnight cut in social security since the foundation of the modern welfare state.

The Government’s argument seems to be that the welfare system should incentivise people moving into work where they should be better off.

I agree, except that most of the families with children who stand to lose will have someone in work – an indictment of running a low pay economy for many.

And the North stands to be hardest hit, by a double whammy, because, as the Salvation Army Reports, many of England’s most deprived areas have been locked out of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

I hope when Parliament returns the Government will reverse this cut and that MP’s across our region will stand up for struggling families.

Alan Campbell, Tynemouth MP