'9,000 in Rochester & Strood face "heartless" government Universal Credit cut' - say Medway Liberal Democrats
By alan wells - Medway liberal democrats
Hard-pressed families across Gillingham and Rainham face being left worse off when the government ends the uplift to Universal Credit next month.
New data from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation exposes the true nature of how badly some areas will be hit by the £20 Universal Credit cut, which is opposed by Medway Liberal Democrats.
In the report, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that the Universal Credit cut alone could force 500,000 people, almost half of them children, into poverty. Their breakdown shows that some 9,110 families in Rochester and Strood will be harmed by the government's uplift cut.
Responding to the data, John Castle, Chair of Medway Liberal Democrats said: "Rochester and Strood has had to pull itself through this pandemic, whilst dealing with this incompetent and heartless Conservative government, and to add to the pain of many, this cut will do untold damage to so many local families.
"There is no question that the Government must reverse this needless cut and support ordinary working people here. Medway Liberal Democrats are calling for the Universal Credit uplift to be made permanent. It is reported that the Prime Minister finds it hard to live on his £161,400 salary which comes with free accommodation and yet is happy to cut money paid to those who are struggling to cover the basics in life."
Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Spokesperson Wendy Chamberlain MP added:
"Just as we begin to hope that Covid is being tamed in the UK, the Government is ripping support from millions of families across the country. We cannot have a full recovery if families are struggling to make ends meet.
"The Prime Minister's claim that he wants people to live by their own 'efforts' rather than 'welfare' shows how out of touch he really is. With almost half of those receiving Universal Credit already in work and with many having young families, this cut will leave parents and their children behind despite their efforts."
Notes to Editor
Constituency breakdown and percentages of families affected by the cut can be found here.