Universal Credit
Universal Credit

Unfortunately I was not called to speak in today’s debate on social security, but here’s what I was hoping to say:

Thank you for the opportunity to speak in this debate which is very important to the 8,812 families in Newport East who will lose out if the cut to Universal Credit goes ahead.

And of course I fully support the motion which calls on this Tory Government to stopped the planned cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit and I hope members on the Government benches will do the right thing tonight rather than sitting it out as they appear to being told to do.

We must retain the uplift – worth £1,000 for 6 million households. This is a time when family incomes are under huge strain, we are in the worst recession for 300 years and I’m keenly aware that life may get much harder for those on the lowest incomes when the protections that are currently in place are removed – be that this uplift, furlough and more are removed. These are vital lifelines.

And as constituents have pointed why is the £20 a week uplift not extended to legacy benefits too? The Government should tackle the structural problems with UC by ending the 5 week wait – which I heard today is particularly hitting women who are not furloughed and at home looking after children, and turn the loans – which put people in debt from the outset into grants instead. These issues push constituents into debt and turning to foodbanks.

Also its still the case that lone parents under 25 are paid less than those over – which is unfair and leads to hardship when families have the same costs.

And finally 18 months on from the Governement’s Review into access to benefits for those with a terminal illness there’s is still no new from the Government on what they are going to do to change the current cruel system. When I spoke to my 10 minute rule bill last summer we were told we were told an announcement would be forthcoming – but still campaigners including Motor Neurone Disease Association, and Marie Curie wait for the 6 month rule to be scrapped and the 3 year rule.

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