Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit — 18 Jan 2021 at 19:04

That this House believes that the Government should stop the planned cut in Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit in April and give certainty today to the six million families for whom it is worth an extra £1,000 a year.
“Withdrawing the uplift would reduce the spending power of people on lowest incomes. This will likely reduce consumption, meaning families going without essentials and household debts rising. It would also see a reduction in spending just when the economy needs it most.”
“The universal credit uplift should continue for the foreseeable future. I would encourage the UK Government to make that commitment now and provide the reassurance many people are looking for.”
“give certainty today to the six million families for whom it is worth an extra £1,000 a year.”
“My name is Michelle and I am currently a single parent to 2 children aged 12 and 7. I have been in receipt of legacy benefits for 7 years. Prior to this I was a working woman with a career in finance, a tax payer. Due to my health issues I currently receive the legacy benefits of income-based employment and support allowance, child tax credit and of course child benefit. April 2020 saw a rise of 1.7% to legacy benefits.
Living on social security is incredibly challenging for families; it provides less than minimum expectations of living. During the pandemic those challenges have been magnified with social restrictions and home schooling. £20 sounds so little but it means so very much. I became interested in why we had not received it.
In November of 2020 I emailed my...MP about the £20 uplift and legacy benefits, she in turn enquired with the Department of Work and Pensions about the situation. I was pleased to have received a response from both, but still somewhat downhearted at how little they understood the situation.
The main recommendation from my MP and the DWP was to consider applying for Universal Credit at this time to obtain the £20 uplift. Is the suggestion that people on legacy benefits request to be migrated to Universal Credit a feasible option you might ask? For me, to risk weeks of zero income for my family would be totally impossible and have knock-on effects of missed bills and potentially surviving on whatever charity we have not already exhausted. I cannot, as a responsible mother, take that risk.
I was also informed by my MP that ‘those on legacy benefits may have benefitted from other support such as mortgage holidays and income protection schemes’. She also mentioned increases to housing allowance. I am eligible for none of these and have no options to move home-I do not qualify for a council house despite being in an overcrowded home in poor repair that I can barely afford. I cannot afford to rent nor would I likely be accepted. These suggestions are not a solution to the problems we face.
As it stands, being prohibited from accessing the £20 uplift pushes me further into using credit for everyday expenses such as the weekly food shop and utilities. Therefore I pay interest on food, heat, water, light, shoes.
So what would £20 a week, equivalent to just under a...month of benefits which I calculate at £1,040 in total (over 10% of my income), mean to my household? It is hard to pick just one thing, there are numerous options. Food is usually one of the few bills parents have the ability to reduce in hard times, so to give more food security and reduce the reliance on cheap processed food would be a big benefit. Being able to keep the house warm would help my arthritis and the asthma suffered by my son and I so that it does not flare up in the damp. I could buy equipment for home schooling, or repair the kitchen tap, or not have to rely on hand-me-down clothes from friends and family who have already a shortened life from being worn. I could afford hair cuts for all of us.
Ultimately the £20 uplift would go directly towards the health and prospects of a generation of children, my children, who have so much potential, resilience, imagination and compassion due to their circumstances and the times we live in. And all we need to do is to support their parents to get those children to a point where they can build a good life for themselves. This will not happen if for the sake of £20 they are hungry, or cold or their needs aren’t met. The £20 uplift is the foundation of hope for children.”
“The Department will not be conducting nor commissioning any research.”
“one of the best examples of co-ordinated action globally”.
“the £20 weekly boost is such a lifeline for us, especially for my family. I am a single parent and have an autistic son who is extremely vulnerable.
I also have severe COPD and this extra amount has allowed us to buy some good reading books and nice food which we could not afford without the £20 boost.
My son needs constant care, and just for him to have the books to read gives me some free time to relax and have some time to catch up on chores, and also my sleep as my son only sleeps 4 hours max at night.
I have also been able to bake some nice meals that are nutritious where I could not afford most of the ingredients before the extra was put in place.”
“to ensure low-income families with children receive the support they need”.
“What we want to see is jobs…and…growth”.
“The amount allocated to us just isn’t sufficient for basic living costs. We can’t have the heating on because we can’t afford the gas. Thank God for food banks, otherwise eating would have been much worse.”
“one of the best examples of coordinated action globally”.
“can we say Scum? Asking for a friend”.
“one of the best examples of coordinated action globally”.

Debate in Parliament |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Alliance1 00100.0%
Con6 001.6%
DUP8 00100.0%
Green1 00100.0%
Independent4 0080.0%
Lab195 (+2 tell) 0 (+2 tell)099.5%
LDem11 00100.0%
PC3 00100.0%
SDLP2 00100.0%
SNP47 00100.0%
Total:278 0043.9%

Rebel Voters - sorted by vote

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Gill FurnissSheffield, Brightside and HillsboroughLab (minister)tellno
John SpellarWarleyLab (minister)tellno

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