Retail trade union Usdaw is urging members to email their MP, asking them to vote for Labour’s opposition day motion, which will be debated tomorrow. It seeks to stop the Government from cutting over £1,000 per year from Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit payments.

Today the annual Trades Union Congress adopted an Usdaw motion which calls for:

  1. Permanent retention of the £20 uplift introduced during the coronavirus crisis.
  2. Immediate reform of the fundamental flaws in Universal Credit like the five week wait, two-child rule, monthly payment and payment to a single recipient.
  3. Universal Credit to be replaced by a social security system that supports low-paid workers and the self-employed.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “The pandemic has brought into sharp focus the financial insecurity of those in and out of low paid employment. We welcomed the £20 uplift, but it was only a short-term sticking plaster that is now being painfully ripped off. Universal Credit should protect the vulnerable and ‘make work pay’ yet it has failed to do this on almost every level.

“The five-week wait is not only unnecessary but is sending people into debt, from which they struggle to recover. Monthly payments are out of touch with the pay schedules for most low-paid workers. Supermarket workers are generally paid every four weeks, and many other low-paid workers are paid fortnightly or weekly.

“Over the past four years, the cruel ‘two-child rule’ has affected well over half a million children, driving hundreds of thousands of families into poverty. The payment to a single recipient reduces financial independence for vulnerable women. On top of these fundamental flaws in Universal Credit, the Government is reducing payments by over £1,000 a year, by taking away a much-needed £20 a week from claimants.

“That extra £20 has been in place since the start of the pandemic and has been a real lifeline for millions of families. It’s not too late for the Government to do the right thing. The Labour Party is forcing a vote in Parliament tomorrow and we are asking MPs to support low-paid workers by voting against the cut.”

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