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Usdaw members speak out about the impact of losing the Universal Credit £20 uplift – MPs urged to support Labour’s motion today

Date: 15 September 2021 Retail trade union Usdaw is urging MPs to back an opposition day motion to stop Universal Credit cuts, which has been tabled by the Labour Party and will be debated today in the House of Commons.
Usdaw recently conducted a survey of members who are in work and are entitled to Universal Credit. These are some of the comments received from working people who will struggle to cope with the loss of over £1,000 per year when the £20 a week uplift is removed at the end of this month: 
  • “We have a young son who is flying through clothes and other items. That £20 a week isn’t a lot but it helps so much!”
  • “I get the housing element of Universal Credit so the reduction will mean I have to pay more rent which will mean I will struggle to pay other bills.”
  • “Money is already very tight. There have been changes to work over the last 12 months which has meant that our family has more debt than before Covid we are struggling to return our finances to the point they were at pre-Covid and that £20 may not feel like a lot to most however it a huge difference in essentials for us.”
  • “At the moment it pays my council tax so if it goes I'll have to not pay something else. I'm just surviving now, not living, surviving. I work to pay rent bills and travel to get to work can't remember last time I bought underwear or clothes.”
  • “I’m 35 and a lone parent to my 8 year-old daughter and limited to the hours I can work. The price of everything is shooting up - food, fuel, clothing - and we struggle from time to time. Just the thought of losing 80 a month is scary. It would push not only myself but others into further poverty.”
  • “The £20 helps towards school clothing, school shoes and food for my son; reducing it will mean I have to use food banks again.” 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “The real experiences of working people relying on income from Universal Credit should be at the forefront of MPs’ minds when they vote today on the Government’s cut. We welcomed the £20 uplift, but it was only a short-term sticking plaster that is now being painfully ripped off.
 
“These comments from our members are just a small snapshot of difficulties millions of families will face if the Government ploughs ahead with reducing their income by over £1,000 a year. That extra £20 has been in place since the start of the pandemic and has been a real lifeline for millions of families.
 
“It’s not too late for the Government to do the right thing. The Labour Party is forcing a vote in Parliament today and we are asking MPs to support low-paid workers by voting against the cut.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 380,000 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

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