Politics

Boris Johnson braced for Red Wall revolt over Universal Credit as 50 seats to be whacked

BORIS Johnson is braced for a stormy Tory revolt after stats reveal that one in three families will be clobbered by the looming Universal Credit cut.

A whopping 50 Tory Red Wall seats will be badly hit when the Chancellor cuts the benefits by £20 a week next month, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says.

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Boris Johnson faces a revolt over slashing Universal Credit next monthCredit: Simon Dawson / No10 Downing Street

And Rishi Sunak’s own region of Yorkshire and the Humber is set to have the most severe impact – with 46 per cent of families with kids affected in the area.

Many Conservative MPs are fuming at the looming cut, with one Northern Tory telling The Sun: “I think the Chancellor is very naive if he thinks you can raise welfare, cut it, and pretend it is not a cut.”

Today two fuming Tories wrote to the PM to demand action to keep the Universal Credit uplift.

Peter Aldous and John Stevenson MP said it would harm the levelling up agenda the PM has promised.

They wrote: “There is a danger that we are failing to comprehend the complexity of people’s lives and the manifestation of poverty.

“We are concerned that the record job vacancies figures will be used to justify the decision.

“The reality is that many unemployed people in receipt of welfare support face complex situations and are sadly very far from the jobs market at present.

“This could be one of our best legacies from the pandemic and can provide the cornerstone of a social security system of which as Conservatives we can be proud.”

Six former DWP Secretaries of state have written to the Chancellor too to urge them to keep it.

The extra £1000 a year boost was put in place to help families during the pandemic, but as furlough and other support comes to an end the Chancellor is set to axe it.

But for millions who have just joined the six-in-one benefits system since losing their jobs during Covid, it will effectively be a cut.

Across the country, 413 constituencies will see a third of working families have their money slashed – nearly 200 of which are Tory seats.

Peterborough, Blackpool South, Burnley and West Bromwich East are some of the worst-affected Tory seats for working families.

Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis’ constituents in Great Yarmouth will be among those to feel the squeeze greatest, as will newly-elected Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer’s new voters.

Citizens Advice say that 2.3million people will be pushed into debt and warned it will be a “hammer blow to millions”.

They also revealed that half of people in ‘Red Wall’ Tory seats in the Midlands and North of England say they will be in debt after paying just their essential bills if their benefits drop by £20 a week as planned, with the average person going £55 into the red.

Single-Dad Shaun, from Northumberland, fears he and his young son won’t have enough to eat.

Boris Johnson braced for Red Wall revolt over Universal Credit as 50 seats to be whacked

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Boris Johnson braced for Red Wall revolt over Universal Credit as 50 seats to be whacked

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He said: “I just don’t know how I’m going to cope. I‘d have to go down to one meal a day to make sure my son has enough to eat.”

Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said the cut “undermines our chance of a more equal recovery by tipping families into the red and taking money from the communities most in need.”

A government spokesman said: “The temporary uplift to Universal Credit was designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and it has done so.

“Universal Credit will continue to provide a vital safety net and with record vacancies available, alongside the successful vaccination rollout, it’s right that we now focus on our Plan for Jobs, helping claimants to increase their earnings by boosting their skills and getting into work, progressing in work or increasing their hours.”

£20 Universal Credit boost WILL end in September, DWP boss confirms



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