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Usdaw challenges the PM to cancel today's £1,000 plus Universal Credit cut with a cost of living crisis looming

Date: 06 October 2021 Retail trade union Usdaw condemns today’s £20 per week (over £1,000 per year) cut in Universal Credit, despite widespread opposition. Usdaw is urging the Prime Minister to use his conference speech today in Manchester to cancel the cut and commit to Universal Credit reform.
A survey by Usdaw found that 57% of workers on Universal Credit (UC) are struggling to pay their gas and electric bills and that is about to get much worse with rising prices. 80% said they would be worried or very worried if the Government ploughed ahead with removing the £20 weekly uplift.
Paddy Lillis - Usdaw General Secretary says: “Today is a dark day for many working families, with the Government ignoring the pleas of many to retain the £20 weekly uplift and tackle long standing issues with the Universal Credit system. It is shameful that the Government is removing this crucial lifeline for low-paid workers and their families, particularly as they face rising utility bills and National Insurance increases, along with fuel and food shortages that are impacting the cost of living.
“The Prime Minister, in his annual conference address today, has the opportunity to do the right thing for the lowest paid workers by cancelling the UC cut and committing to reforming the social security system that doesn’t provide the support working families need. Universal Credit should protect the vulnerable and ‘make work pay’ yet it has failed to do this on almost every level.
“Usdaw has consistently called for the rollout of Universal Credit to be halted, to allow a full review and overhaul of how the Government supports the incomes of working people, which Labour has this week committed to delivering. The £20 uplift was only ever a short-term sticking plaster and today it is being painfully ripped off. We need a proper social security system that supports families, particularly in the face of a looming cost of living crisis.”
Usdaw has long called for a fundamental reform of Universal Credit, including:
  • Five week wait scrapped, by making advance payments non-repayable.
  • Two-child limit removed.
  • Reducing the taper rate and increasing the work allowance to incentivise work.
  • Benefit Cap stopped.
  • Universal Credit payments paid to the main carer by default. 
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 380,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
Usdaw’s cost of living survey of over 8,000 members was conducted during January this year. 9% of respondents are on Universal Credit, with a further 22% receiving other forms of benefits.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers