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Social security

Protecting people and places in poverty from the risks of a no-deal Brexit

This briefing and open letter to MPs highlight what the Government can do to protect struggling families if the UK leaves the EU with no agreement.

Written by:
Helen Barnard
Date published:

The Government is taking steps to prepare the country for the possibility of the UK leaving the EU in March without a Withdrawal Agreement. There is widespread agreement that leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement would be likely to lead to economic disruption in the short-term.

There is a serious risk that this will make life much harder for people living in poverty and parts of the country already locked out of prosperity. We know that’s not right. People on low incomes must not pay the price from any economic shocks and government must take steps to protect struggling families in their no-deal contingency planning.

Actions needed:

  1. Lift the freeze on working-age benefits and tax credits on 8 April 2019.
  2. Make urgent improvements to Universal Credit (UC) to prevent destitution and ensure it provides the support we all expect from our public services. In particular, end the five-week wait for the first payment.
  3. Bring forward an emergency stimulus package of funding and support for jobs and skills in parts of the country with low employment and pay; those that are particularly exposed to the impacts of disruption to trade.
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