Easington MP Grahame Morris warns of a poverty tax and a spiral of debt created by Universal Credit.

Figures from Parliamentary Questions show that two million people in receipt of Universal Credit had reductions averaging £61 per claim in November.

In the Easington constituency, more than half of Universal Credit claims (54%) had an average deduction of £62. Easington is the eleventh worst affected area for Universal Credit deduction. Other North East constituencies hardest hit include Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Stockton North, South Shields, Sunderland Central, Houghton and Sunderland South, Wansbeck, Bishop Auckland, Darlington and, Washington and Sunderland West.

Grahame Morris MP for Easington hit back stating that far from ‘levelling up’ the Government were trapping people in poverty, he said:

“Universal Credit creates poverty and a life of endless hardship and struggle. Universal Credit should support people into work, instead, families are struggling to get food, heat and keep a roof over their heads.

The Government know that Universal Credit isn’t sufficient to support people looking for work. At the outset of Covid, Ministers increased payments by £1040 a year, to hide the realities of life for those in receipt of Universal Credit.

Even so, many people receiving Universal Credit for the first time were shocked at the lack of support, despite years of paying National Insurance contributions. We need a Social Security system that delivers, which safeguards those unable to work, and supports those who can, into employment without forcing them into hardship and penury.

The five-week wait for Universal Credit leaves most who have no savings with no option but to seek an advance. Paying back this advance prolongs hardship and makes life difficult for the poorest in society. Social Security is meant to be a safety net to help people up, and not trap them in prolonged poverty.

Universal Credit is not working, it’s unfair to our community and is holding people back in East Durham.”

For more information see The Mirror: EXCLUSIVE: DWP hits 2million Brits with £61-a-month ‘poverty tax’ – 58 worst-hit areas revealed https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/dwp-hits-2million-brits-61-26399526

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