A Plaid Cymru MS has called the Tory Government’s plans to reduce the uplift to Universal Credit as “callous and unjust.”
Peredur Owen Griffiths, who represents some of the most deprived communities in the country in his region of South Wales East, said the Tories should not reduce Universal Credit or Working Tax Credits if they had any compassion.
Earlier this year the Chancellor announced that the £20 uplift would be cut from October 6th to its previous level. He also announced that the uplift for Working Tax Credits would come to an end on 6th April 2021 with claimants receiving a one-off payment of £500 instead.
Peredur’s calls came as a report from the Bevan Foundation think tank showed that Wales will be disproportionately hit by the changes. They estimate that the cuts to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit will directly remove £286 million from low income families in Wales every year.
Researchers also worked out that the cut to Universal Credit will have an impact on communities all over Wales with more than a third of families with children affected in all but four constituencies. In the constituencies of Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney, 48% of families with children are in receipt of Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit. In Torfaen, the figure is 49%.
Peredur said: “Many household budgets have been strained due to the impact of coronavirus. We already had high levels of poverty and child poverty in Wales and this will have been exacerbated by the unprecedented events triggered by the pandemic.
“Many families are already living under or on the breadline so for the Tory Government to remove the Universal Credit uplift is callous and unjust. It shows that they are completely out of touch with the needs of people in Wales, many of whom face a daily struggle to make ends meet.
“If they have any compassion, they will announce a swift U-turn with this policy and maintain the uplift that has been a lifeline for so many. If they fail to do this, many people in Wales will neither forgive nor forget."
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