Paddy Lillis - Usdaw General Secretary said:
“Universal Credit is about to make life a lot worse for millions of low-paid workers. It’s a system that doesn’t work in the real world and everyone knows is broken. Surely they cannot plough on regardless?
“For years we have warned the Government’s that their planned roll out of Universal Credit will have a significant impact on workers claiming in-work benefits. While it was introduced to ‘simplify the benefits system’ and ‘make work pay’, the basic premise of Universal Credit has been undermined by a series of cuts. The introduction of the benefit cap, a freeze to working age benefits, the reduction of working allowances, the removal of the first child premium and the two child limit for new claimants have meant a real cut in support for working families.
“Usdaw research has shown that a couple with children, earning just above the National Living Wage, one working full time and one working part time, will be £1,866 per year worse off under Universal Credit, with single parents set to be hit even harder.
Even the Secretary of State has had to admit that ‘some people will be worse off’ and it has been reported that ‘she had told Cabinet colleagues that some claimants would lose out to the tune of GBP200 a month’.
“We have made representations to the Chancellor, as part of his budget consultation, calling for the roll-out of Universal Credit to be immediately halted. Clearly many others are now doing the same. Fundamental issues have been identified with the scheme that will disproportionately impact low paid workers on short, insecure contracts. Without these issues being addressed, I do not believe that the Government can legitimately continue with the roll-out of the programme.”
Email your MP
about Universal Credit.
Usdaw’s ‘Time for Better Pay’ campaign
tackles the causes of in-work poverty and seeks to develop an economy where work pays. A survey of over 10,000 workers has laid bare the issues that working people are facing as a result of low pay, short and zero hours contracts and insecure work. Nearly one in four rely on in-work benefits and as only a small number are already on Universal Credit the Government’s roll-out will have a significant impact, Based on this evidence the campaign is calling for four key actions:
- £10 per hour minimum wage for all workers over 18.
- Minimum contract of 16 hours per week for all employees who want it
- The right to a contract based on an individual’s normal hours of work
- An end to the misuse of zero hour contracts.
For more information: https://www.usdaw.org.uk/Campaigns/Time-4-Better-Pay
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with around 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 28% over the decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion