I joined Labour calls that cuts to the Universal Credit work allowance should be reversed and that the Tory Government should look again at the impact Universal Credit is set to have on children given the huge cuts to its budget.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has projected that relative child poverty in the UK will rise from 17.8% in 2015-;16 to 25.7% in 2020-;21. This would almost entirely reverse the progress which was made under the last Labour Government.

By the time it is fully rolled out 9,000 households in Newport East are expected to be entitled to Universal Credit and across the UK more than 50% of children will be in families who are entitled to UC.

Universal Credit was originally designed to support and reward work, but a recent report by the Resolution Foundation said that, “the latest series of cuts – announced at last year’s Summer Budget -; risk leaving UC as little more than a vehicle for rationalising benefit administration and cutting costs to the Exchequer.”  There were two major cuts to in-work support in the 2015 Summer Budget -; one for tax credits and one for Universal Credit which will eventually replace tax credits and other benefits. Only the cuts to tax credits were reversed in the Government’s u-turn last year while the cuts to Universal Credit came into effect on April 11th, well before the policy has even been fully rolled out.

By 2020 2.6 million working families on Universal Credit will be £1,600 a year worse off and some single parent families will lose as much as £2,630 per year.

Lifting over a million children out of poverty was one of the last Labour Government’s most important achievements. It’s appalling that the Conservative Government plan to reverse that progress by going ahead with its cuts to Universal Credit which seriously undermines the original design of the policy.  It’s not too late for them to think again, look at how many more children will be pushed into poverty and reverse these cuts.  The Labour Party is committed to tackling child poverty and I’m proud that we continue that fight by opposing cuts to Universal Credit.


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