In the wake of the success of Labour’s motion to cancel a savage cut to Universal Credit (UC), Rosie Cooper MP has sharply criticised the government’s failure to listen to the voices of those who will be affected.
At the beginning of the first national lockdown in 2020, the government provided an “uplift” to UC and Working Tax Credits of £20 a week – just over £1,000 a year. The government has now signalled its intention to remove this lifeline at the start of October.
The Labour Party tabled an Opposition Day Motion to cancel the cut, which passed by 253 votes to nil on 15 September. Unfortunately, Opposition Day Motions are not binding and the government has indicated no intention to change course.
Rosie Cooper MP commented:
“It cannot be right that the government is pushing ahead with this cruel and misguided plan. Universal Credit was not adequate before the pandemic, so while the uplift was a welcome piece of support for those on low incomes, the idea that it can now be safely withdrawn is simply inhumane.
“Many of my Labour colleagues in parliament made passionate and emotional appeals to the government to change course, and it is shameful that they have not. The government seems to think that cutting UC is necessary to get people working. It sounds to me like they want to starve people into work.
“The truth is that many UC claimants are already in work, but that work is so insecure and low-paid that they still require support. That should be a cause for great shame for the government.
“Thousands of my constituents will be poorer as a result of this decision. In fact, every MP has constituents who will be affected. Not a single Tory MP had the courage to show up and vote against Labour’s motion, because they know how damaging this will be for their communities.
“There is still time for the government to see sense and reverse course. I would encourage all those in West Lancashire who are concerned about these changes to contact my office and we will do our best to help.”