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04th Oct 2021

‘Millions’ facing difficulty this winter after Universal Credit cut

Kieran Galpin

Boris Johnson

Universal Credit cut still set to happen on Wednesday

With Universal Credit set to be slashed on Wednesday October 6, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been accused of “abandoning millions” to poverty over the winter.

The extra £20-a-week Universal Credit increase came into effect to assist low-income families during the pandemic – but that is being repealed this week.

With National Insurance also set to increase, recent shortages across the UK leading to an uptake in prices and energy bills also on the rise – the new move will lead to “hardship” for many families, a charity has warned.

Though the Universal Credit increase was always meant to be temporary, this extra money has become essential for many families that are struggling to get by.

At least 50 per cent of working-age families with kids across 30 different areas of the UK will be hit by the removal of the £20 increase, warns the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

Some of the worst-hit areas will include Newham, East London, where 64 per cent of working families will be affected. In Leicester, 62 per cent of families will be hit and up in Manchester, another 61 per cent will feel its absence.

“The prime minister is abandoning millions to hunger and hardship with his eyes wide open,” said Katie Schmuecker, JRF deputy director of policy and partnerships.

“The biggest ever overnight cut to social security flies in the face of the government’s mission to unite and level up our country.”

She continued to say that the Prime Minister cannot claim he hasn’t been warned.

In a letter signed by Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford and the first and deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, Paul Givan and Michelle O’Neill, officials urged Johnson to have a change of heart.

Read the full statement:

“Your government is withdrawing this lifeline just as the country is facing a significant cost-of-living crisis.

“This winter millions of people are facing an untenable combination of increases to the cost of food and energy, rising inflation, the end of the furlough scheme, and an imminent hike to National Insurance contributions.

“There is no rationale for cutting such crucial support at a point when people across the UK are facing an unprecedented squeeze on their household budgets.”

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