Pressure on government builds as charities call for U-turn on cut to Universal Credit

By Alice Richardson

Pressure is growing for the government’s plans to reduce Universal Credit payments by at least £80 a month to be scrapped.

Charities and political parties have been calling on the government to reverse the decision.

Now the Citizens Advice group covering Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale and Trafford has joined forces with a range of charities and support organisations across Greater Manchester to lend their voice to the calls for change.

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The group said: “In October, hundreds of thousands of Greater Manchester residents will face an overnight loss of £20 a week if the Government ploughs on with the planned cut to Universal Credit.”

The coalition of organisations includes Citizens Advice branches and other charities from across the city-region.

The group has written directly to the Chancellor of the Exchequer urging him to stop the planned cut to Universal Credit.

Their letter was sent last night (Monday September 13).

Jonathan Yates, chief executive officer of the Citizens Advice group, said: “At a time when our region is recovering from the economic impact of coronavirus, this cut could be devastating to Greater Manchester.

“If the cut goes ahead, it will remove over £193 million from our regional economy, damaging businesses and putting jobs at risk. Many parents will be pushed out of work as they lose their entitlement to Universal Credit and the benefit’s childcare element.

“The impact on Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale and Trafford residents’ wellbeing, as well as the impact on the region’s economy, are in direct opposition to the Government’s ‘Levelling Up Agenda’ and risk worsening the north-south economic divide.

“As we look to rebuild from covid, the government must invest in the benefits system and keep this vital lifeline. This is why we have joined this coalition of organisations committed to advocating for residents and businesses across Greater Manchester, to urge the government to reconsider the planned cut.”

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