Motion calling for U-turn on Government plan to cut universal credit

Trevor Wainwright, leader of the Labour group in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Trevor Wainwright leader of the Labour group in Great Yarmouth which is calling on the Government not to axe the extra £20 that topped up universal credit payments. - Credit: Archant

A motion calling on the Government to reverse its decision to cut the extra £20 handed to people on low incomes during the pandemic is to be tabled in Great Yarmouth.

Trevor Wainwright, leader of the Labour group at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, says people in the borough, where 21 neighbourhoods are among the most deprived in the country, are likely to be among the worst hit.

He said: "This cut is being called the biggest overnight social security cut since the Second World War.

"Doctors, charities and even some Conservative MPs are calling on the Government to reverse its decision.

"It is creating nervousness, and many residents fear and worry about what is going to happen, and how can they manage when they have £20 less per week.

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"How are they going to put food on the table? How are they going to heat their homes in the winter?

"I am sure that £20 per week is not a lot of money for some people, but for others it is a matter of survival, and I urge all members to support this resolution."

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In June 2021 there were 14,076 people claiming universal credit in Great Yarmouth, many of them working, and 5,511 children said to be living in poverty.

The Trussell Trust estimates that nearly a quarter of a million parents on universal credit fear not being able to put a proper dinner on the table after the £20 is withdrawn from October.

The motion is being put forward to full council on Tuesday, September 28.

It states: "That this council writes to The Rt Hon Therese Coffey MP Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP Chancellor of the Exchequer to reverse the proposed cut to Universal Credit of £20 per week, £1040 per annum."

Figures show that in Great Yarmouth 18.4pc of the population was income-deprived in 2019.

Of the 316 local authorities in England the borough is is ranked  the 32nd poorest.

In response to the pandemic, a temporary £20 increase to universal credit payments was introduced.

The scheme officially ends on October 6, although the exact date the money will stop being paid will vary depending on when people usually receive their payment.

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