So many people are struggling at the moment. With unemployment rising and household budgets being squeezed, a lot of people need a bit of extra help.
In a recent vote in the House of Commons, Conservative MPs abstained on a motion to support extending the Universal Credit 'uplift' brought in to support people struggling financially during the pandemic. This creates further uncertainty for those who rely on the scheme to pay their bills, at a time where the news is full of 'will they, won't they' stories about the possible cut.
Boris Johnson still refuses to guarantee he will not end the £20-a-week uplift in Universal Credit – which is worth more than £1,000 a year for around six million families – in April, despite pressure from opposition MPs like the Lib Dems to do so.
I’m hugely disturbed by the Conservative government’s indecision on this matter - which is already impacting people's lives. Cutting support for needy people at this time is wrong.
But I also know that just calling for the government to cancel the cut to universal credit does not go far enough.
Those in receipt of other benefits, like carers, should receive an increase too. Liberal Democrats are leading the campaign for a £1,000 increase in the carers allowance.
More must be done to support people applying for universal credit in lockdown - without libraries and cafes, accessing the Internet on appropriate devices can be tough, and support for those who need it to complete the form is limited.
The wait time for the first payment of universal credit must be reduced from 5 weeks to just a few days to ensure people can pay their bills and buy essentials when their circumstances change suddenly
Housing allowance often fails to cover the actual cost of housing - so we would increase it to be in line with the average rental cost in the area.
We would end unfair Work Capability Assessments - and replace them with a scheme delivered by the medical professionals people are already working with.
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