Sam Tarry slams end to £20 Universal Credit uplift as 'morally bankrupt'

Sam Tarry, MP for Ilford South

Sam Tarry, MP for Ilford South - Credit: David Woolfall

The MP for Ilford South has labelled the government “morally bankrupt” over its decision to end the Universal Credit uplift.  

During the pandemic, the government increased universal credit and working tax credit by £20 a week as a temporary measure. 

This increased rate is due to come to an end on October 6, with the government saying it is "right" to focus on "supporting people back into work".

Ilford South MP Sam Tarry said the uplift was the “bare minimum required to help some of the poorest families in Ilford South” and said it should not be removed while millions remain unemployed or working several jobs to make ends meet.

Mr Tarry comments come as new analysis revealed thousands of working-age families in the borough will be affected by the cut. 

Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, released August 26, revealed more than half of families with children in Mr Tarry’s constituency receive universal credit or working tax credit. 

It found that in Ilford South, 52 per cent of families with children are in receipt of universal credit or working tax credits, 11,250 in total.

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Meanwhile, 7,580 families without children received the benefit, 24pc of such families in the constituency. 

Across the country, 140 constituencies will see more than one in four of all families affected, with 21pc of all working-age families expected to experience a £1,040 cut to their incomes. 

The foundation described the change as the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the foundation of the modern welfare state. 

Mr Tarry said the uplift helped thousands of families in the constituency put food on the table and said the cut would "push some of the most vulnerable people in our society further below the poverty line”. 

He added: “This government is morally bankrupt – if they had a shred of humanity the government would think again and make the universal credit uplift permanent.” 

A government spokesperson said: “As announced by the chancellor at the Budget, the uplift to universal credit was always temporary.

"It was designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and it has done so. 

“Universal credit will continue to provide vital support for those both in and out of work and it’s right that the government should focus on our Plan for Jobs, supporting people back into work and supporting those already employed to progress and earn more.” 

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