Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has condemned a Government decision to cancel the Labour Party’s Opposition Day Debate which would have brought about a vote on plans to cut Universal Credit at the end of the month.
At the start of the pandemic, the Government increased the standard allowance of Universal Credit by £20 per week. The Government had originally planned to implement the cut in April 2021, but were forced to change course after Labour successfully won a vote in the House of Commons in January.
Since then, Labour have continued to call for the Government to cancel the cut and brought about another vote on the matter on Wednesday. The Government shelved the debate with one day to go, however, with the cut of over £1000 a year from the income of millions of families in the UK still set to come into effect at the end of September. This will be the biggest overnight cut to the social security system since World War II.
The cut will affect 10,980 families in Bristol South, and cut £11,419,200 from the constituency. This could plunge many families into poverty and damage the constituency’s economic recovery by taking money away from local businesses.
Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:
“The Tories decision to cancel the vote on their plans to cut Universal Credit is cowardly, and if the cut goes ahead it will be devastating for Bristol South. It is not only morally wrong but economically illiterate.
“Thousands of families in Bristol South have been relying on the Universal Credit uplift for basic necessities like food and heating, and it’s shameful that the very workers who got us through the crisis are in the firing line for an over £1000 cut to their annual income.
“Millions of people are already struggling to get by, and we are still in the midst of the crisis in which the uplift was introduced. The £20 uplift must remain in place until Universal Credit is finally replaced.”