Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford is urging the PM not to axe the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift, reports The Mirror
Rashford said: “Instead of removing vital support, we should be focusing on developing a long-term roadmap out of this child hunger pandemic.”
Campaigner Marcus, 23, who last year forced PM Boris Johnson into a U-turn on free school meals, added: “On October 6, millions lose a lifeline. It’s a move that Child Poverty Action Group says will raise child poverty to one in three.”
Almost eight in 10 on UC will find it harder to feed their kids when £80 a month worse off under the cut, a poll by The Food Foundation charity found.
Anna Taylor of the Food Foundation added: “We’re in danger of pushing the poorest to breaking point. Many won’t be able to put food on the table.”
The Food Foundation charity has teamed up with Marcus to urge people to write to MPs.
Visit Marcus’s campaign at endchildfoodpoverty.org/write-now and follow the steps to write to your local MP
Triple budget blow
A “triple-whammy” of incoming budget pressures over the next six months could leave low income families more than £1,000 worse off annually, according to a think tank.
The Resolution Foundation said inflation, rising energy bills, the looming health and social care tax and next month’s proposed Universal Credit cut could leave households worse off even after increases in the minimum wage have been accounted for.
With inflation and soaring energy prices a global phenomenon as a result of emerging from the coronavirus pandemic – and therefore being beyond the Government’s control – the foundation is urging ministers to take action where they can by keeping the UC uplift in place for 4.4 million households.
Karl Handscomb, a senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said upholding the weekly bonus would “go a long way towards easing the coming cost-of-living squeeze”.
The Treasury provided the additional £20 per week to benefit recipients at the outset of the pandemic, but Chancellor Rishi Sunak has so far been adamant it must end by October.
The uplift was meant to last a year but was extended by six months in the March Budget.
In their financial analysis, the independent think tank researchers said they took into account the consumer prices index (CPI) hitting 4% – the highest in a decade – over the winter, increased energy bills with the 12% increase in the energy price cap from October 1 and a further projected 19% rise in six months, the cut to UC from October 6 and the 1.25% health and social levy being due from next April.
The energy price cap increase means bills are set to rise by £139 a year to £1,277 for a typical gas and electricity customer from next month.
The foundation said that even with a 37p increase in the national living wage from next April, and the highest benefits uprating since 2012 in the same month as a result of inflation being forecast to hit 2.7%, a typical low-income household was still likely to feel the pinch, with families with children the worst off.
A couple with two children, where the parents are both working full-time and earning the minimum wage and slightly above that rate, would be £23 a week worse off over the next six months, with the £3 per week boost from the national living wage dwarfed by rising energy bills and the cut to UC, according to the organisation.