Members of the Unite Community, Unite MS Group, and other activists, stood in solidarity on the steps of the Senedd calling for the UK Government to stop their proposed cut to Universal Credit due on 5th October.
Huw Irranca-Davies MS joined other voices demanding a reversal of the planned £20 cut which will mean the biggest overnight reduction to a basic rate of social security since the modern welfare state began, more than 70 years ago.
The Ogmore MS said: “I am pleased to join with others today in stern condemnation of the UK Government’s decision to cut the £20 uplift that will see thousands of individuals across Wales, in work and out, worse off.
I have deep concerns about the potential impact that reducing UC will have on child poverty, poverty levels and the financial health and well-being of people in Ogmore and across Wales. Failing to maintain the recent uplift to UC will increase the hardship and poverty for many who are already struggling with 7,060 households in Ogmore currently in receipt of universal credit or working tax credits.”
The Welsh Government have introduced a series of measures via their plan for tackling poverty in Wales:
‘Income Maximisation Action Plan’ – providing a range of successful projects with one simple aim- to put money into people’s pockets.
‘National welfare benefit take-up’ campaign – helped people to claim over £650,000 of welfare benefit income in March – a second campaign to commence this autumn.
‘Discretionary Assistance Fund’ – helping people facing financial pressures due to the pandemic – support via the DAF was strengthened by Welsh Government with an additional £25.4m during the pandemic.
A Debate in the Senedd this week heard the Minister for Social Justice say: “It is inconceivable that the UK Government would now choose to abandon those who need us the most and who played their part in protecting our country from Covid-19. Since last summer, we have repeatedly called on the UK Government to make the £20pw increase permanent.
In my latest letter, signed jointly with Ministers from the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive, we asked the UK Government to share with us their assessment on what impact the cutting this £20 lifeline would have on poverty levels. We have still not received a response.”