1.6million children to be hit hardest by ‘cruel and punitive’ Universal Credit cut

Universal Credit: Jonathan Reynolds on Labour’s policy

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As part of its crusade against the Government’s plans, the union has launched a countdown on its website. The countdown ends on the day the £20 uplift on Universal Credit payments comes to an end and is being done in order to bring awareness to the cut’s impact on families, specifically children. Mr Sunak announced the uplift back in April 2020 as part of a financial support package for vulnerable Brtions at the beginning of the pandemic.

However, the Chancellor confirmed the boost for Universal Credit claimants would come to an end in October during his Budget announcement for 2021.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Sunak explained why the Government is removing the uplift in favour of other initiatives, such as the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Kickstart scheme.

He said: “That temporary uplift was indeed temporary, I don’t think it will help them the most.

“It was a right intervention for the particular part of the crisis we’ve experienced.

“Now as the economy is reopening and businesses are hiring again the right thing to do is to help people find well-paid jobs.

“This is why the kickstart scheme is important, it’s why we give companies huge cash incentives to create new apprenticeships for people. The Prime Minister’s lifetime skills guarantee is also crucial.”

Community has launched a campaign to combat the cut to the benefit scheme through social media.

Using the hashtag #StopTheUCCut, the union is bringing awareness to how the cuts will affect millions of people in the county.

It has also launched a petition to garner support for the campaign and its efforts to help those on Universal Credit.

On top of this, Community has ventured into the TikTok as part of the campaign to educate young people on the changes to Universal Credit.

Kate Dearden, Community’s Head of Research, Policy and External Relations, explained the union’s opposition to the cut.

She said: “The cut to Universal Credit is cruel and punitive. It’s the biggest disaster people don’t know is coming.

“Some 37 percent of Universal Credit recipients are in employment. It is an in-work benefit.

“These are changes that will punish workers whilst we are still in a period of economic uncertainty and recovery.

“This is a sweeping change that will affect households across the country, including millions of children.

Ms Dearden also outlined which demographics she believes will be most impacted by the Government’s decision.

“It will set the less well-off, already struggling as a result of the pandemic, even further back,” she explained.

“It will be particularly harmful to the U.K’s millions of self-employed workers, many of whom have already had the toughest of years being excluded from government support schemes and losing the majority of their income.

“The government must be on the side of our workers. The time is running out to reverse the proposed cuts to Universal Credit.

“We’re asking people to join our call, to tell the government this is wrong and pressure them to reverse course.”

Express.co.uk has reached out to the DWP for comment.

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