Shopworkers’ union Usdaw has welcomed the Labour Party’s announcement of reforms to the social security system that will ensure working people can keep more of what they earn.

As part of its New Deal for Working People, Labour will replace Universal Credit with a social security system that is fit for purpose, and that properly supports all those who need it. Key to this will be reducing the taper rate and making sure no-one is worse off for working more.

The New Deal also include pledges to increase the minimum wage immediately to £10 an hour, ensure sick pay for everyone, protect workers against unfair dismissal and give all workers the right to flexible working.

Usdaw General Secretary Paddy Lillis said “Usdaw welcomes this significant commitment from the Labour Party, which stands in stark contrast to the callous decision of the Conservatives to cut Universal Credit payments by £1000 from October of this year.

“Reducing the taper rate will put an end to the ludicrous situation where low paid workers claiming Universal Credit currently have an effective tax rate of over 70%, which means working extra hours while on Universal Credit can leave families feeling worse off. We have shared our members’ experiences of this unfair practice with the Labour Party, and we are pleased that they have listened to the concerns of low paid workers. 

“Under the taper rate, for every additional pound someone on Universal Credit earns, they lose 63p of their Universal Credit until their claim is entirely exhausted. Even temporary changes can have an ongoing impact on their claim. Because of this, Usdaw members have even reported that they’ve been forced to reject one-off bonuses and short term increases in pay. Usdaw has long called for a root and branch reform of the broken Universal Credit system. It’s clear from today’s announcement that only a Labour Government will deliver this.”

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