Unite Members stage Senedd Protest at Universal Credit Cut
- Tuesday 14 September 2021
Universal Credit claimants, members of Unite Community, will stage a protest outside the Senedd on Wednesday 15 September from 12:00pm to support fellow members demonstrating in Westminster urging Tory MPs to back Labour’s push to cancel the £20 a week cut to Universal Credit, due on the 5 October.
WHEN: 12:00, Wednesday 15 September 2021
WHERE: The Senedd, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1SN
Labour’s opposition debate on the controversial cut, which is earmarked for after Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday 15 September, comes just days after Work and Pension Secretary, Therese Coffey made the astonishing statement that people would have to work longer to make up the £20 a week loss in Universal Credit. Even though this is a UK wide issue the Plenary session on the same day will also hold a debate that we hopefully endorse the despicable approach of those on benefits by Boris Johnson’s Government.
Holding banners up that read ‘Keep our families fed’ and ‘Food is not a luxury’, the activists are standing up for the six million people in Britain who rely on Universal Credit to get by – 40 per cent of whom are in work.
Charities estimate that one million households will lose 10 per cent of their income overnight when the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, snatches back the £20 a week - £1040 a year - with one in four children made poorer as a result.
Speaking ahead of the event Peter Hughes, Unite Wales Regional Secretary commented;
“Someone on Universal Credit bringing in £200 a week would need to earn an extra £67 a week to make up the £20 loss. Then there will be additional childcare and travel costs so making up that stolen cash is impossible.
"Our members have told us that the £20 isn’t paying for luxuries, but for food, children’s shoes, school uniforms and warm clothes. The chancellor is making a deliberate and cruel decision to punish the countries working poor pushing six million people, over a third of which are already in job, into poverty and debt overnight.
"Many of them have worked right through the pandemic - in social care, in the NHS and as refuse collectors - and they deserve so much better from this government than this assault on their already poverty-level incomes."
Susan a Universal Credit claimant from from Swansea stated:
“I have only received Universal Credit since the pandemic meant I was made unemployed, but didn’t realise that there was an uplift until I received a text telling me I would be reduced by £87 pound in my next payment – it’s a struggle now so don’t know how we will survive now with living cost’s going up and food. The winter is also coming – how can I get my children anything for Christmas?”
Tory MPs including, Universal Credit architect, Iain Duncan-Smith, footballer, and anti-poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford, charities, landlords and debt organisations have all warned against what is the biggest overnight benefit cut since the Second World War.
Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers’ living standards.