THE controversial decision taken by the Government to cut universal credit support for thousands of working people has been slammed by MP Conor McGinn, who says this will deepen the cost-of-living crisis for many families in St Helens.

The uplift was introduced in March 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic as a much-needed top-up to help people pay their bills during this time.

However, this £80 a month uplift will be cut from Wednesday, October 6. 
The decision has led to criticism that this will severely worsen problems faced by those struggling to make ends meet.

Mr McGinn’s research suggests that 9,270 households claiming universal credit (UC) and working tax credits in St Helens North are set to lose the £1,040 a year uplift – that is a total of £9,640,800 cut from people’s pockets locally.

His research also found that, of those claiming UC in St Helens North, 37 per cent are currently in work. 

Mr McGinn says ending the uplift represents the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the Second World War - at a time when rising energy, food and transportation costs for commuters are squeezing family finances, risking pushing many into serious hardship.

St Helens Star:

Conor McGinn

Serious concerns are also being raised over the impact on the child poverty level.
Labour are calling on the Government to reverse the cancellation of the UC uplift as well as the planned rise to National Insurance which is due to kick in next April. 

Mr McGinn said: warned the cut will push many into real hardship.“Hundreds of residents have contacted me these last few weeks to say how hard life will be if this cruel and needless move went ahead. 

“When feeding their families, paying the bills, or getting from A to B, working people already feel tightly squeezed by the Conservatives, and that’s set to be worsened by this cut and tax rises to come.”

READ>Appeal for St Helens community to attend funeral of navy captain who dioed with no family

The Government has said the £20 universal credit uplift had always been a temporary measure to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic.

It added that it is focusing on a plan for jobs to support people back into work and help those already employed to progress and earn more.