Universal Credit cut: ‘Further waves of redundancy’ forecast as Boris faces backlash

Universal Credit cut: Caroline Nokes expects more redundancies

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Conservative MP Caroline Nokes has warned that the planned Universal Credit cut would likely lead to further waves of redundancies, particularly in sectors where women are the majority. Number 10 confirmed that the £20 top-up would be scrapped in October after Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced it to help out in the early months of the pandemic. Boris Johnson has been facing increasing criticism over plans to scrap the uplift, with most Opposition parties demanding a U-turn.

Speaking on ITV Peston, the chair of the Women and Equalities Committee said: “From the perspective of my select committee, we said very clearly that we thought it should stay.

“And what we do know is that families are still struggling, as a result of the pandemic.

“We’re expecting really unfortunately there to be further waves of redundancies, particularly in some of those sectors where you see very many women employed.”

She continued: “So we know that the pandemic had a terrible impact on retail, where you have about 58% of employees in non-essential retail are women.

“And so, actually, from the perspective of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, I’d like to see the Universal Credit uplift there.” 

No.10 increased the amount claimants receive by £20 pounds as extra support during the pandemic.

But the uplit is set to be scrapped by the end of the month.

 

A senior Conservative MP also warned that the cut risks pushing working people into poverty.

The Government says the £20 uplift was always a temporary measure to help people through the pandemic.

Former work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb says the government risks repeating the mistake it made in 2015 when it froze working-age benefits.

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Mr Crabb said: “This is not about being wet on fiscal discipline or about being Labour lite.

“It is about recognising what is good, responsible social policy.

“And I am clear in my mind that this sudden, abrupt withdrawal of the £20 uplift that millions of families will experience in the coming weeks is not the right way of doing welfare policy.”

The Prime Minister has refused to explain how Universal Credit claimants should recoup their looming £20-a-week cut in payments

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