Campaigners have today delivered a petition to the office of Stroud’s MP Siobhan Baillie, calling on her to cancel the cut to Universal Credit that will see more than 5,000 local families £220 worse off by Christmas.
The cut to the Universal Credit uplift – described by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as “the biggest cut to the basic rate of social security support since the birth of the modern welfare state” – comes in today, leaving recipients facing 11 weeks of reduced support before December 25.
The cut comes amid a wider squeeze for working families including rising energy prices and food bills, the proposed National Insurance hike and widespread fears that the Conservatives plan to raise council tax to fund its social care commitments.
Latest figures from the House of Commons Library show 6,169 people in the Stroud district (3,485 women and 2,687 men) will lose £1,040 a year – at a cost of £6,415,760 to the local economy.
Labour leader Doina Cornell said: “Working families in Stroud district are taking an absolute battering from the Conservatives. Higher tax, lower support and rising energy, food and fuel costs – this is a perfect storm and local families are being abandoned by this Tory government just when they need them most.
“Ministers like to pretend that this crisis won’t hit families hard but the truth is that those on Universal Credit will be down £220 by Christmas alone – that’s more than half the average family Christmas budget.
“People in Stroud district need real support, but all they get from this Conservative government are empty slogans and a cost of living crisis that could ruin Christmas. Stroud district deserves better.”