The TUC has today (Friday) warned that nearly 300,000 working families – and many key worker households – will be worse off in the North West as a result of the government’s planned cut to universal credit.
New analysis published by the union body reveals the regional and local impact cutting universal credit will have on low-paid workers.
Majority of those hit by autumn cuts are working families
282,000 workers in the region are currently receiving universal credit – nearly 2 in 5 (37%) of all universal credit recipients. They will all be hit by the £20pw cut.
The working tax credit is also being cut in October, having also been raised by £20pw in early 2020.
So the majority of those affected by the £20pw cut to benefits this autumn will be families who are working, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).
The TUC says low-paid key workers will be among those worst affected.
TUC research published last week showed that one million children in key worker households are currently growing up poverty – with many currently receiving in-work benefits like universal credit.
Today’s analysis breaks down the number of people receiving universal credit by region and local constituency across the North West and England.
It shows that even in wealthier parts of the country the cut to universal credit will impact heavily on low-paid workers.
For example, in the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s constituency (Richmond) nearly half (48%) of people currently receiving universal credit are in work – with 3,025 workers in the constituency depending on it. This number will only grow as more families transfer over from the working tax credit.
And in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s constituency (Uxbridge) around two-fifths (38%) of Universal Credit recipients are currently in work – with 3,665 workers in his constituency depending on it. This number will grow as more families transfer over from the Working Tax Credit.
The TUC says the £20 increase in universal credit has been a “vital lifeline” for low-paid workers – and that reducing a crucial in-work support will push more families below the breadline.
The TUC says a decent social security system is also essential for helping those who lose their jobs get back on their feet and back into work.
In addition to stopping the planned £20pw cut to universal credit, the government must increase the minimum wage to £10 an hour and urgently bring forward an employment bill to tackle insecure work, says the union body.
TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said:
“Everyone should have enough money to live on.
“But if the universal credit cut goes ahead many working families – and key workers – in the region will be forced to get by on much less every week. It is levelling down – not levelling up.
“Ministers should abandon this cruel cut that will hit low-income working families. We need a social security system that helps people get back on their feet – not one that locks them in poverty.
“And we need decent jobs on decent pay for every worker in the North West.
“That means increasing the minimum wage, investing to create good green jobs and tackling the scourge of insecure work. Cutting universal credit isn’t the way to achieve decent work.”Editors note
Number of workers receiving universal credit by parliamentary constituency (excludes those to be transferred over from the working tax credit).
|Constituency||Number receiving UC in work||Total number receiving UC||% of UC recipients in work|
|Altrincham and Sale West||2,061||5,234||39.4%|
|Barrow and Furness||2,555||6,158||41.5%|
|Blackley and Broughton||7,430||20,761||35.8%|
|Blackpool North and Cleveleys||4,018||10,589||37.9%|
|Bolton North East||4,183||12,400||33.7%|
|Bolton South East||4,934||14,077||35.1%|
|City of Chester||3,415||8,365||40.8%|
|Crewe and Nantwich||4,763||10,739||44.4%|
|Denton and Reddish||3,729||9,274||40.2%|
|Ellesmere Port and Neston||3,503||8,390||41.8%|
|Garston and Halewood||3,719||10,353||35.9%|
|Heywood and Middleton||4,751||12,546||37.9%|
|Lancaster and Fleetwood||3,073||7,834||39.2%|
|Liverpool, West Derby||4,155||12,487||33.3%|
|Morecambe and Lunesdale||4,123||10,241||40.3%|
|Oldham East and Saddleworth||5,090||14,975||34.0%|
|Oldham West and Royton||5,471||16,324||33.5%|
|Penrith and The Border||1,976||4,421||44.7%|
|Rossendale and Darwen||3,383||8,815||38.4%|
|Salford and Eccles||6,090||15,214||40.0%|
|Stalybridge and Hyde||4,044||10,581||38.2%|
|St Helens North||3,497||9,874||35.4%|
|St Helens South and Whiston||4,147||11,440||36.3%|
|Stretford and Urmston||3,906||10,247||38.1%|
|Westmorland and Lonsdale||2,351||4,542||51.8%|
|Worsley and Eccles South||4,723||12,375||38.2%|
|Wyre and Preston North||1,960||4,427||44.3%|
|Wythenshawe and Sale East||5,304||13,877||38.2%|
Source: TUC analysis of Stat Explore data using May 2021 data
Notes to editors:
Number of workers receiving universal credit by parliamentary constituency (excludes those to be transferred over from the working tax credit)
-Information on relative levels of wealth and deprivation in parliamentary constituencies can be found here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7327/
– The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.