The Prime Minister is cut the £20 Universal Credit from this Wednesday and he has been accused of “abandoning millions to hunger and hardship.”
Soaring energy bills, food prices are rising and national insurance is also set to rise and a leading charity has warned that this will lead to “hardship” for tens of thousands of families across the country.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has warned that in 35 areas in England around half, if not more working families who have children are facing “hardship” as the £20 a week is to stop.
Katie Schmuecker, JRF deputy director of policy and partnerships said “The Prime Minister is abandoning millions to hunger and hardship with his eyes wide open.
“The biggest ever overnight cut to social security flies in the face of the government’s mission to unite and level up our country.”
Schmuecker added, “The Prime Minister cannot say he has not been warned, he must abandon this cut.”
Leaders of the three devolved nations said in a joint letter to Johnson that there is time to reverse the decision to stop universal credit on Wednesday.
The three leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland warned, “Your government is withdrawing this lifeline just as the country is facing a significant cost-of-living crisis.
“This winter millions of people are facing an untenable combination of increases to the cost of food and energy, rising inflation, the end of the furlough scheme, and an imminent hike to National Insurance contributions.
“There is no rationale for cutting such crucial support at a point when people across the UK are facing an unprecedented squeeze on their household budgets.”
A spokesperson for Downing Street said, “We’ve always been clear that the uplift to Universal Credit and the furlough scheme were temporary.
“They were designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and they have done so.
“Universal Credit will continue to provide vital support for those both in and out of work, and vulnerable households across the country will be able to access a new £500m support fund to help them with essentials over the coming months as the country continues its recovery from the pandemic.”