Councillor wants West Northamptonshire Council to pressure government over end of £20 universal credit boost

'Overwhelming evidence of the negative impact this will otherwise have on many within the authority’s area'

Monday, 20th September 2021, 3:56 pm

West Northamptonshire Council should write to the government to complain about the end to the £20 uplift to universal credit, a councillor has asked.

Labour councillor Emma Roberts has proposed a motion for the local authority to join charities, support groups and residents opposing the national change at a meeting on Thursday (September 23).

The temporary increase to universal credit was introduced during the coronavirus pandemic but is set to end on October 6, despite concerns about the impact on the most vulnerable.

The £20 coronavirus uplift to universal credit is due to end on October 6. Photo: Getty Images

The motion reads: "This council is committed to an anti-poverty strategy by understanding impacts and taking real action to lift people out of poverty.

"It also believes that the government should stop the planned cut in universal credit and working tax credit.

"Over 19,000 people receive universal credit in Northampton alone - in nearly 24 per cent of all families in the area. This is the eighth highest number in the whole of the East Midlands.

"This council notes figures from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which show that 6.2 million families across the UK will feel a £1,040 hit to their yearly incomes almost overnight and 500,000 people – among whom 200,000 are children – are at real risk of falling into poverty and deprivation.

"This council therefore resolves to join charities, local support groups and residents in writing to the government expressing its deep concern and calling for government to make the £20 uplift to universal credit permanent and extend it to legacy benefits, in light of the overwhelming evidence of the negative impact this will otherwise have on many within the authority’s area."