Scale of Tory cuts to Universal Credit revealed

Millions are set to lose £1,000 a year, new government data shows.

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New data from the Department for Work and Pensions has revealed that 5.9 million people across the UK could have their incomes slashed by £1,040 from next month, if Boris Johnson ploughs ahead with Tory cuts to Universal Credit.

The quarterly statistics, published today, show that 5.9 million people across the UK – around 9% of the population – currently receive Universal Credit payments, which are due to be cut by £20 a week at the end of September by the Tory government.

The statistics also show that over 3.4 million children are living in households claiming Universal Credit – a 65% increase from before the pandemic in February 2020 – meaning the Tory cuts could push millions of children into poverty and hardship. Labour and the SNP have called for a full and immediate U-turn on the Tory cuts.

Research conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation highlighted that slashing Universal Credit could plunge half a million more people into poverty – 200,000 of which are children.

And analysis from the House of Commons Library in July revealed that the UK suffers from the worst levels of poverty of any country in north west Europe, and has done for almost all of the past twenty years.

Commenting, SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson David Linden MP said: “The UK already suffers from the worst levels of poverty and inequality of any country in north west Europe.

“It would be cruel and unthinkable for the Tories to make this problem even worse by slashing the incomes of almost six million people. There must be a full and immediate U-turn.

“It is clear beyond doubt that the Tories have no intention of building a fair recovery. Instead, they are cementing poverty and inequality by imposing another round of Tory austerity cuts.

“Worse still, these Westminster cuts threaten to wipe out the benefits of progressive Scottish Government policies like the Scottish Child Payment – undermining crucial progress in Scotland.

Wes Streeting MP, Labour’s Shadow Child Poverty Secretary, said: “The Conservatives’ plan to cut Universal Credit will hit the lowest paid hardest and hurt our economic recovery. We know that six million families are set to lose £1,000 a year, affecting 3.5 million children.

“There is near universal opposition to this cut, which will push more children into poverty. Time is running out for the Prime Minister to see sense, back struggling families and cancel his cut to Universal Credit.

“Labour would maintain the uplift until we can replace Universal Credit with a fairer social security system.”

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