Opposition Day Debate on cuts to Universal Credit

On Monday 18 January 2021, the opposition tabled the first of two Opposition Day motions in the House of Commons to demand that the Government scraps its planned cut to Universal Credit.

This cut will take £20 a week, or £1040 a year from 13,501 people in my constituency. More and more families across Britain are struggling to make ends meet. Today, millions are relying on the lifeline of Universal Credit and other forms of social security, including the families of 2.2 million in work who currently rely on Universal Credit.

Child Poverty Action Group has stated the £20 uplift is essential to ensure “low-income families with children receive the support they need”. In September 2020, analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) found that the withdrawal of the uplift will risk bringing 700,000 more people, including 300,000 more children into poverty. It could also bring 500,000 more people into deep poverty (classified as being more than 50% below the poverty line). Combined with the cut to Child Working Tax Credit, it will impact 6.2million families, according to JRF. By delaying a final decision on whether the cut will go ahead, the Government is adding to stress and uncertainty for low income families at an already extremely difficult time. 

The full text of our opposition motion was:

“That this House believes that the Government should stop the planned cut in Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit in April and give certainty today to the six million families for whom it is worth an extra £1,000 a year.”

The Government did not support our motion, which would have prevented people in Walsall from sinking further into poverty. 6 Conservative MPs voted in support of our motion, the rest abstained. The motion passed by Ayes: 278 – Noes: 0