Retail trade union Usdaw has condemned today’s 3.1% uprating of Universal Credit in the face of RPI inflation running at 8.2%, the highest for over 30 years. The union is calling for a fundamental review of our social security system to provide a proper safety net and help make work pay.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “The Chancellor remained silent on Universal Credit when he delivered his Spring Statement, so today claimants are only receiving a pitiful 3.1% increase when inflation is over 8%. That is a huge real terms cut in income for the lowest paid workers.

“On top of the low uprating, Universal Credit remains universally discredited. Usdaw has consistently called for the rollout of Universal Credit to be halted, to allow a full review and overhaul of how the Government supports the incomes of working people. We need a proper social security system that supports families and provides a proper safety net, particularly in a cost of living crisis.

“The Prime Minister promised to ‘build back better’, but regrettably it seems to be more like ‘business as usual’. As the cost of living crisis rages, with RPI at its highest rate in over 30 years, the Government has simply failed to understand the scale of the challenge faced by millions of workers across the country.”

Usdaw has long called for a fundamental reform of Universal Credit, including:

  1. Significant investment in Universal Credit, to ensure it provides a social security benefit that more consistently supports workers in low-paid employment.
  2. Five week wait scrapped, by making advance payments non-repayable.
  3. Two-child limit removed.
  4. Reducing the taper rate and increasing the work allowance to incentivise work.
  5. Benefit Cap stopped.
  6. Universal Credit payments paid to the main carer by default.
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