Glasgow East MP David Linden has called upon the Chancellor to do more to support those who have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, particularly those out of work.
In April, the Government increased Universal Credit, with the benefit given a 1.7 per cent rise. This increase was the first in five years and saw around 2.5 million households better off. The increase meant an extra £20 a week for the households most suffering by the rampant job losses during the pandemic.
However, the Government is currently planning to end this increase in payment, even as countless people across the UK continue to face redundancies and insecurities over their future.
This news comes as the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has warned that UK unemployment could surpass the peaks of the 1980s after weaker than expected economic growth. The Bank of England has issued similar warnings, as it predicts that over a million more jobs will go by Christmas, with headline unemployment doubling to at least 2.5 million.
Challenging the Chancellor in the House of Commons today, Glasgow East MP David Linden said the Government had a “moral duty” to ensure Universal Credit Claimants weren’t left high and dry.
Speaking from the House of Commons, David Linden MP said:
“Emergency food parcels for kids are up 107% on last year and the Trussell Trust now expects to distribute 300,000 more than expected in the fourth quarter.
“Given a hard Tory Brexit and the end of furlough will push more people into poverty, the Chancellor must protect the poorest by making the £20 increase to Universal Credit permanent.
“Week in, week out I hear from constituents about the worry and misery caused by Covid-19. The Chancellor could allay some of those fears by committing not to pull the rug from under people’s feet by making permanent the £20 uplift to Universal Credit.
““The British Government has a moral duty to ensure people have enough money to get by. Making this small increase permanent would be a big step towards doing that.”