WARRINGTON South Tory MP Andy Carter is being urged by Labour counterparts to give hard-pressed families in the town a break and change his mind on the Government’s plan to withdraw the £20 increase in Universal Credit.
The Government is planning to end a £20-per-week increase in the benefit in October – which has been supported by Mr Carter, who says it was always a temporary measure to tackle the pressures of COVID and the focus should be now getting people back into jobs.
Labour, however, points to the news over the weekend that wholesale prices for gas have gone up 250 per cent since January with a 70 per cent rise since August.
Former Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid, now chair of the Warrington South Constituency Labour Party, said: “Everybody’s gas bill is going to go up and that will make it even more difficult for families that are already struggling.
“So once again I am asking Andy Carter to do the right thing and oppose this cut in universal credit.
“Newspaper reports over the weekend suggested that this cut will push 800,000 people into poverty and this from a Tory party that promised at the last election that it would ‘level up’. This is disgraceful.
“It is also interesting that Iain Duncan Smith, the Tory who came up with universal credit in the first place, does not think the cut should go ahead.”
In response Mr Carter, who says the decision to end the £20 uplift was “not a binding vote” said: “The right thing to do is to help people in Warrington get back into jobs. As well as meeting people looking for work I’ve spent the summer talking to employers desperately trying to fill vacancies, in fact we have record vacancy levels in Warrington and across the UK and at the same time wages are rising at the fastest rate for a long time.
“This extra support was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those likely to be facing the most financial disruption as a result of the Covid.
“Now as we open up, restrictions end and our recovery gathers pace, it’s right that focus is switched into helping people into well paid work and improving their prospects with training and support.“