Councillors vote to call on government to protect most vulnerable and cancel cut to universal credit

  • Concillors urge government to change its mind on £20 cut to universal credit 

Manchester city council is committed to fighting for residents and to do all it can to ensure the most vulnerable are supported and protected, a meeting heard.

The council put forward a motion calling on the government to look out for working people, protect the most vulnerable and cancel the £20 cut to universal credit.

This is in regard to the government’s withdrawal of the additional credit which councillors say will have a devastating and negative impact on low-income households across the city.

Proposing the motion, Councillor Sarah Judge said: “An estimated number of 58,339 households will be impacted by yet another attack by the Tory government on the poorest in our community.

“They will find out that the budget that they struggled to make ends meet on has been cut down by £20 a week. Families across our city has already suffered enough after years of austerity, the rise in cost of living and the impact of covid-19.

woodhouse park, labour councillor
 Councillor Sarah Judge

“The government need to realise that this are people. People trying to do better for themselves and their families and they are not statistics.

“We hear the prime minister talking about levelling up. You might want to come talk to my residents in Woodhouse Park how intentionally making their lives harder results in levelling up.

“When I speak to residents in my ward, I hear struggles, I hear stories of families telling their kids they will later, but they never do because they cant afford to feed themselves as well as their children.

“I hear from families who are unable to cloth their children or heat their homes. I hear stories of people who have struggled for so long that they don’t see a point to life any more.

“Research shows that those on universal credit are already living with food insecurity with 28.8% of people in situations judged to be severe. We are one of the richest country in the world, how is this the reality for so many.

“In 21st century Great Britain people should not be faced with choosing between heating and eating. The cut to universal credit, the rise to the cost of living, the increase to national insurance is set to see people across our city plunge into crises.

“No Tory can ever claim that we are in this together, nothing will ever make up for the inevitable rise in children taken into care, tenants evicted and families pushed over the edge. Manchester labour will continue to do all we can to make sure our most vulnerable are supported and protected.”

Councillor Emma Taylor, who seconded the motion, said: “If the government is serious about levelling up every corners of this country, we must begin with those who need our help the most.

Cllr Emma Taylor

“It is left to local authorities like here in Manchester to pick up the pieces and stand up for our residents, we know what is best for them.

“This government need to work the work, we need actions not words.

“Real levelling up is about supporting families who are just about managing, we need to see investment in our people, real living rate and investment in skills and training, without this, the project of levelling up will not become a reality.”

Councillor Ben Clay

Councillor Ben Clay told the meeting: “I just can’t put a stand where people from over the world today paying £20 for a bottle of wine thinks it is okay to cut £20 a week from the budget of some of the least well families in our country.

“It is absolutely disgraceful, we oppose it, we continue to oppose it. I think the whole country needs to pay attention and many more people unfortunately will feel it this winter when the bills come in and they just don’t have money to pay them.”