Rotherham Labour councillors call for government U-turn on Universal credit cut which will see 30,000 households lose £1,040 per year

Rotherham’s Labour group have called for the government to rethink the removal of a £20 per week Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit uplift, which is due to be made next month.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 3:32 pm

Councillors say the move will leave 30,000 households in Rotherham £1,040 worse off every year, 16,380 of which have children.

In March 2020, the government increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £20 a week, in recognition of the struggles many households faced due to the pandemic.

However, the extra cash is set to be cut by ministers on October 6, in what Rotherham Councillors have called “cruel”.

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Labour councillor Dave Sheppard will move a motion for the council to call on the Government not to go ahead with the cut at the next full council meeting on September 29.

Coun Sheppard, cabinet member for social inclusion said;“Cutting the income of those most in need is cruel and makes no economic sense whatsoever.

“The timing of this cut is even crueller. Cutting £20 per week from our most vulnerable households just as we begin to enter the winter period means families will face the terrible choice of either eating, or heating their homes. I

“t is totally unacceptable in the 6th largest economy in the world that families are forced into a choice of either keeping warm or eating a nourishing meal. The stress this places on the physical and mental health of everyone in the households affected by this cut is both unnecessary and unjust.

“Working families make up the majority of those who will be affected by this cut, the biggest since the creation of the modern welfare state, which disproportionately affects areas like our own.

“Far from ‘levelling up’, this is a continuation of the policies the Tories have pushed for the last decade – hitting hardest those with the least. Taking £20 per week from the most vulnerable in our borough removes £30 million per year from our local economy, so everyone loses out in the long run.”

“Labour’s MPs have been adamant in their opposition to this cut, and Labour councillors will be spelling out our support for local families at our meeting at the end of this month.

“We will send a clear message to the government about the impact the Conservative policy will have on our community.”