Sheffield GP warns of crisis winter for families as figures show thousands will be hit by Universal Credit Cut

A Sheffield GP has warned of a “crisis winter” for many families across the city if the £20 cut in Universal Credit goes ahead as planned in October.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 12:59 pm

Shock new figures compiled for Sheffield MP Louise Haigh by the House of Commons Library show a staggering 513,414 people will be hit by the cut to Universal Credit in Yorkshire, including almost 50,000 (48,507) in Sheffield alone.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has estimated that cutting Universal Credit by £20 a week would push 500,000 more people, including 200,000 more children, into relative poverty.

And now Maria Read, GP from the Dovercourt Surgery, has warned that the cut to Universal Credit will be devastating for many members of the community, and, in particular, children.

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The cuts could affect thousands in Sheffield

She fears that many families will be in crisis this winter as the Universal Credit cut and the impact of the pandemic bite.

Maria Read, GP Dovercourt Surgery, said: “I and my colleagues are devastated by the thought of the loss of the £20 rise in Universal Credit and the effect this will have on our community and residents and in particular children.

“We are already seeing the increase in poverty and reduced resilience in every aspect of people’s lives, and with rising costs of food and essentials, this will be compounded.

“Recent data has shown the long-term effects of the Sure Start scheme and how this has been successful at improving health and wellbeing even years after the children had grown out of the service.

“This was another brilliant intervention that has been withdrawn and which was, in the long run, saving money and improving coping skills and general wellbeing in our communities. Yet again, it is the most vulnerable and young, who are our future, that are being disadvantaged disproportionally.”

On Wednesday, September 15, Labour will force a vote in the House of Commons in an attempt to scrap the cut due to be implanted in three weeks time.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh is urging Conservative MPs in the region to put residents and communities first by opposing the planned Universal Credit cuts in the vote.

She said: “The cut to Universal Credit will hit hundreds of thousands of families across Yorkshire and leave children further in poverty.

“For many families, the extra £20 a week will be the difference between whether they can put food on the table and heat their homes this winter.

“It is shameful that some of the very people who were on the frontline during this pandemic, low-paid nurses, police officers, teaching assistants, are now set to be plunged into hardship.

“We need all Conservative MPs in the region to join us, do the right thing for their constituents and oppose this cut in Parliament on Wednesday.”

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