Usdaw is calling for:
- Restore the £20 uplift to Universal Credit as an immediate step to be followed by a fundamental overhaul of Universal Credit, to ensure we have a welfare system which provides an adequate safety net for all who need it.
- A reversal of the recent increase in National Insurance contributions.
- Clear measures from Government to tackle the rising cost of living.
- Significant increases in funding available for childcare so that all parents can access childcare as well as a review of childcare arrangements to better reflect working hours.
Addressing delegates at the annual conference, Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary said:
“Successive Tory governments have insisted that our welfare system is not worth investing in, they have brutally devalued both the system and those who rely on it and they've tried to make the case that Government should not intervene to support those in need. Given the support we saw during the pandemic and the positive impact this had on protecting jobs and livelihoods, it's clear that the Government is able to act but just choosing not to.
“Usdaw is deeply concerned about the Government's lack of meaningful support for those on low incomes. Our Cost of Living survey found that three-quarters of members have struggled to pay gas and electricity bills, two-thirds are relying on borrowing to pay everyday bills and almost three-quarters believe that financial issues are affecting their mental health.
“The Conservative's self-created cost of living crisis is affecting every part of our daily lives. Let's be clear, the Government could help workers through this crisis. They could help fund childcare, which is, all too often, simply unaffordable for our members. They could reverse the National Insurance increase, they could use a windfall tax on energy companies to support those in fuel poverty and they could restore the £20 uplift in Universal Credit and deliver a social security system that provides a genuine safety net for those in need. They are making a choice not to implement these policies and a choice not to deliver for working people.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion