Later this year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will cut Universal Credit payments in a desperate blow for people across the country.
On October 6, 2021, the standard allowance of benefits will be reduced by £80 a month.
The independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) analysis shows that half a million more people, including 200,000 children, are set to be pulled into poverty by the reversal reports the Daily Record.
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The cuts are a direct consequence of the Government scrapping a top-up that was added to Universal Credit during the coronavirus pandemic.
The DWP insists it was only intended to be temporary, but campaigners want the £20-a-week ‘uplift’ retained, saying the abrupt cut in income for around six will be a huge shock on millions of families.
Working families make up most claimers who will be affected by the cut to Universal Credit (UC) and Working Tax Credit.
Families with children will find it especially tough, according to JRF research.
Around six in 10 of all single-parent families will experience their income falling by the equivalent of £1,040 per year because of the cut in UC or WTC.
The Tory government is coming under massive pressure to u-turn its decision.
Katie Schmuecker, deputy director of policy and partnerships for the JRF, said: “Universal Credit has been a lifeline that has helped keep millions of heads above water, but the new analysis should act as a stark warning of the immense, immediate and avoidable consequences of what amounts to the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the Second World War.
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“We all accept governing is about priorities, but cutting the incomes of millions of the poorest families and sucking money out of the places in which they live flies in the face of the Government’s mission to level up our country.
“This is not about generosity, it’s a matter of investing in families, so they have the dignity of being able to meet their needs and supporting everyone in and out of work to escape poverty.
She added: “The public deserves to know what the Government expects the impact of this cut to be. Ministers cannot hide the fact that they are ploughing ahead with a cut despite knowing it will be devastating for millions of families.
“They should publish their analysis on the impact of the cut as soon as possible.”
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady added: “Everyone should have enough money to live on. But if the Universal credit cut goes ahead, millions of working families – and key workers – will be forced to get by on much less every week. It is levelling down – not levelling up.
“Ministers should abandon this cruel cut that will hit low-income working families. 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.
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“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.”
A UK Government spokesperson said: “Universal Credit has provided a vital safety net for six million people during the pandemic, and we announced the temporary uplift as part of a £400 billion package of measures put in place that will last well beyond the end of the road map.
“Our focus now is on our multibillion-pound Plan for Jobs, which will support people in the long term by helping them learn new skills and increase their hours or find new work.”