UNIVERSAL CREDIT: Gwynne calls on Government to make UC work for children

speaking-in-chamberDenton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne has called on the Tories to reverse their cuts to Universal Credit, as they are set to drive children in to poverty.

Speaking during a parliamentary debate on the effect of Universal Credit (UC) on children, Andrew Gwynne joined Labour calls for the reversal of cuts to the Universal Credit work allowance and a revised impact assessment on the policy in light of huge cuts to its budget.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has projected that relative child poverty will rise from 17.8% in 2015–16 to 25.7% in 2020–2. This would almost entirely reverse the progress which was made under the last Labour Government.

By the time it is fully rolled out, 10,000 households in Denton, Dukinfield, Audenshaw and Reddish are expected to be entitled to Universal Credit and across the UK more than 50% of children will be in families who are entitled to UC.

Universal Credit was originally designed to support and reward work and progression, but a recent report by the Resolution Foundation said that, “the latest series of cuts- announced at last year’s Summer Budget – risk leaving UC as little more than a vehicle for rationalising benefit administration and cutting costs to the Exchequer.”

There were two major cuts to in-work support in the 2015 Summer Budget – one for tax credits and one for their replacement, Universal Credit. Only the cuts to tax credits were reversed and the cuts to Universal Credit came into effect on April 11th.

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“Lifting over a million children out of poverty was one of the last Labour Government’s most important achievements. It is appalling that this Government look set to reverse that progress. It is not too late for them to think again, to reverse the cuts to the work alliance and to make Universal Credit work for these children.

“The Labour Party is committed to tackling child poverty and I’m proud that we continue that fight by opposing cuts to Universal Credit.”

Shadow Employment Minister Nick Thomas-Symonds, said:

“It is now clear that the cuts Universal Credit have completely undermined its original purpose. Unless they are reversed, Stephen Crabb’s cuts will reduce the policy to little more than a vehicle for the Treasury’s cuts.

“By 2020 2.6 million working families on Universal Credit will be £1,600 a year worse off and some single parent families will lose as much as £2630 per year. It is no wonder that 600,000 more children are expected to be pushed into poverty.

“But it is not inevitable. We need a revised impact assessment that properly considers the effect the roll out will have on children and the Government must reverse the cuts to the work allowance and ensure the introduction of Universal Credit means less children in poverty, not more.”

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