Social security should be strong enough for all of us to rely on when we need a lifeline – because, as the pandemic has shown us, life is full of things we can’t plan for. And yet, at the beginning of October the Government plans to cut Universal Credit by £20 a week, reducing the already-precarious incomes of families across the UK. This is simply not right.
If you are directly affected by this cut, or you receive a legacy benefit and have been left out of receiving this improvement to support, find out more about how it will affect you, and use our ‘write to your MP’ templates:
If you are not directly affected, but are concerned about the impact on people you know, your community or wider society, you can use the template below as a guide for writing to your MP.
Weakening social security support makes no sense
Our social security system should protect families from harm, keeping their heads above water if someone were to lose their job; if their income were too low or insecure to make ends meet; if they were sick or their family circumstances changed.
A lifeline that’s left to wear thin and threadbare isn't strong enough to pull families safely through hard times. But in recent years, cuts and freezes to our levels of support have left families living with constant insecurity, unable to meet their everyday needs. Instead of being pulled to safety, they’ve been put at risk of being pulled deeper into poverty.
As we look to rebuild our society, ‘level up’ and ‘build back better’, it would make no sense at all to weaken social security support by cutting £20 a week from Universal Credit this October.
The Government can – and should – keep this lifeline and give families the stability they need. It must also extend this support to families who are on ‘legacy’ benefits, such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, and Income Support, who have so far been excluded and cut adrift.
What you can do
Write to your MP to let them know your concerns and the impact this cut would on people close to you.
Simply look up who your local MP is here, and use the template below to email them about why you think this lifeline should be kept. Do remember to be polite – even when it is tempting not to be. They are human and we want them to support the cause!
You can also raise awareness of this impending cut through your social networks, using #KeepTheLifeline.
Template for writing to your MP
Dear XXX MP,
I am writing with concern about the upcoming £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit. This will be the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the Second World War.
This cut is going to have a huge impact on the lowest-income families in our constituency, both in and out of work. [Please add any of your own personal concerns here]
The pandemic has shown us that life is full of things we can’t plan for. Social security must be strong enough for us all to rely on when we need a lifeline. The decision to increase Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit at the start of the pandemic was a clear recognition that payment levels were not adequate to protect families when they need it.
As we start to rebuild our society, it would make no sense at all to weaken it.
I am hoping that, as my MP, you will raise these concerns about the impact of this cut on our constituency in parliament, as well as writing to the Chancellor and Ministers.
This autumn, the Government must choose. Choose to protect people when they need support, not cut them adrift. Choose a social security system that enables families to escape from poverty. Choose to open up options and opportunities for people to improve their lives.