John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle has joined forces with Peter Aldous MP for Waveney and has written today to the Prime Minister to urge him not to press on with plans to cut Universal Credit payments from October.
In the letter to the Prime Minister both John Stevenson and Peter Aldous have been clear that they did not take this step lightly however both agreed that the £20 per week increase, brought in as a response to the pandemic should be made permanent.
Speaking John said, ‘The majority of people in my constituency of Carlisle, who will be directly impacted by the cut are mostly already in work and are low paid, hard working families.
I am in full support of the Government’s levelling up agenda, but whilst investment into top infrastructure projects is very welcome and much needed, we must not forget the importance of investing in the people in our communities, without whom the levelling up agenda cannot be realised.’
The MP’s went on to tell the Prime Minister that whilst the proportion of people disadvantaged could be reduced through labour market reforms, this would take time and certainly would not be in place by the beginning of October and therefore urgent action by the PM is required.
Both agreed that good quality, well paid, secure jobs were essential as is support to access them. They called for the availability of flexible jobs, that can fit around childcare and caring responsibilities, as well as tailor made work programmes to ensure those job seekers with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else. They acknowledged that the Government has said positive things about this and now needed to make sure it delivered on it’s promises. In addition, they acknowledged that too many people were too far removed from the labour market for various reasons and they needed help through a stable and secure social security system to access help to gain the life skills required to take the first steps in to work. The universal top up is a key part of that, with both MP’s calling it potentially one of the best legacies from the pandemic and the cornerstone of a social security system of which Conservatives can be proud.