ITV’s Anushka Asthana has revealed a chart that shows the top “worst hit” regions by the Universal Credit uplift cut, including a number of Red Wall counties. It came after the uplift was withdrawn across the UKWednesady, leaving many families in despair. Boris Johnson has been facing opposition from within his own party about the decision to cut the £20 uplift as the country continues to recover from the pandemic.
Speaking on ITV Peston, Anushka Asthana shared a message from Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice: “ If the Prime Minister is serious about levelling up, he must address the cost of living crisis this winter.
“That starts by reversing the Universal Credit cut – notably absent from the speech.”
Ms Asthana then said: “And look, if this is about regional variations then today’s cut – removing the uplift to Universal Credit doesn’t look great.
“Have a look at the proportion of people affected in different parts of the country.”
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A chart then appeared on the screen, illustrating different areas of the UK that are hit by the universal credit uplift cut.
She continued: “People who are set to lose over £1,000 pounds in 2122.
“It’s from the Resolution Foundation and up here at the highest then we have Northern Ireland and Wales, and then we have the West Midlands, Yorkshire the Northeast, and where the speech was–the Northwest.
“All of them with higher proportions of people on you see, the London, the southeast, or the South West, and this isn’t the only squeeze that people are focusing on right now.
She went on: “I just want to show you a couple of tweets so this is the Tory MP Tom toucan Hart, he said ‘rising wages are great, unless prices rise faster’.
“‘Inflation matters because it is about what we can afford and how families can make ends meet’.“And also earlier today, Martin Lewis, look at this, ‘Oh my word one month ago energy price cap 1138 that has gone up by more than 100 to 1277’.
“He then compared the cheapest fixed rates from £1,177 to look at this £1,700.
“He said ‘Astronomical! Shocking, do not switch right now’.”
The UK Government has said it has “always been clear” the uplift to universal credit was temporary.
Many ministers have called on the government to reverse the reduction in the uplift.
A department spokesperson for Minister Deirdre Hargey’s department said: “The minister has clearly stated that the actions by the British government are outrageous and abhorrent.
“Minister Hargey has prioritised support for the most vulnerable in our society and will continue to do so.
“She has also highlighted that we have to be real about our abilities to mitigate yet again another cut by the Tories.”