Dear Gareth Davies MP,
As a local Councillor in your seat, whose ward and whose Group of councillors represents some of the most deprived households in the District and County, I am writing to urge you not to cut Universal Credit by £20 a week for families.
Right now, families across Britain are struggling –and many are relying on this money to get them through the crisis.
Millions of parents have lost their jobs or substantial amounts of income due to Covid-19. These cuts will increase pressure on already tight household budgets.
This winter, Foodbanks are expecting to give out an emergency parcel every 9 seconds – and the Trussell Trust have said cutting Universal Credit could increase already skyrocketing Foodbank use by a further 10%. Grantham Passage and Churches Together have provided a much needed lifeline for so many families already.
I ask you to consider also if it is fair for the Government to increase the burden of respinsibility, delivering basic life sustaining necessities, on voluntary organisations, especially when many have depleted numbers of volunteers because of Covid 19?
The impact on the District Council resources also needs consideration. An increase in homelessness and increase in those unable to pay their council tax are potential consequences if cuts tip people over the edge.
In that context, it is unthinkable to take £20 a week, or £1000 a year, from Britain’s poorest households as unemployment continues to rise. So little can make so much difference to those most in need. Research from the Resolution Foundation has shown this cut would see the poorest households lose 7 per cent of their disposable income.
I hope you agree with me that here in Grantham and Stamford it would be wrong to ask struggling families to shoulder this cut. I urge you to give these families peace of mind and stop the cut to Universal Credit.
The Government said they will do whatever it takes for our economy – I implore the government to extend that approach to supporting Britain’s families and maintaining the £20 rise to Universal Credit.
Local people spending money locally is the best way to sustain our local economy.
It would be cruel and will have both unforeseen and foreseen consequences to cut low income household funding further.
Coun Charmaine Morgan