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Universal Credit cuts to wipe £500m from family incomes in 54 ‘red wall’ seats

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More than 500,000 households will be affected by £20-a-week cuts to the benefit in 54 constituencies seized by the Tories in 2019

More than £500 million will be cut from the incomes of people across dozens of ‘red wall’ seats as a result of brutal Tory universal credit cuts.

New analysis shows that a total of 501,370 households, including 340,000 children, will be affected in the 54 constituencies taken by the Tories in 2019.

More than 200,000 working people in receipt of the benefit in those areas will see their income slashed by more than £1,000 a year.

Charities and economists have warned that millions of families could be pushed into poverty by the move which kicked in this week.

Many are already struggling to make ends meet as they grapple with a cost of living crisis that has pushed up energy bill and food prices.



Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds accused the Government of making ‘hollow’ promises to working people
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Analysis by Labour using figures from anti-poverty charity Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that in nine ‘red wall’ seats taken by the Tories, more than 12,000 households will be affected by the cut, including Blackpool South, Bolton North East, Burnley and Heywood and Middleton.

Another eight ‘red wall’ seats, including Great Grimsby, Darlington, Lincoln and two Stoke-on-Trent constituencies, will each see more than 10,000 families hit.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: “Hardworking people in these constituencies been let down by Conservative tax hikes, supply shortages and cuts to Universal Credit.

“Any promise the Prime Minister makes to raise the living standards of people in this country rings hollow while this cut goes ahead.

“They deserve much better than the bluff and bluster of a Government determined to make things harder for working people.”

The worst ‘red wall’ seat affected is Peterborough, where 18,360 households, including 13,000 children, will be hit by the £20-a-week cut, losing £19m pounds between them. They include 4831 people in work.

Tory Paul Bristow, who took the swing-seat off Labour in 2019 with a majority of just 2,580, has previously suggested keeping the uplift in place would be too expensive.

Next worst is Birmingham Northfield, a marginal seat taken by the Tories for the first time in 27 years at the last election, where 13,480 households, including 10,000 children, will lose £14m between them. More than 4,800 working people will be hit.

Tory MP Gary Sambrook has said the Government is improving living standards by creating jobs instead and accused Labour of “posturing, causing division where there isn’t any” on the cuts.

The constituencies of high-profile 2019 intake Tory MPs will also be badly affected by the UC cut, including Dehenna Davison’s Bishop Auckland, Christian Wakefield’s Bury South and James Grundy’s Leigh.

More than 9,000 households, including 6,500 children, in Lee Anderson’s Ashfield will lose £9.5m while the cut will hit 9480 households, including 6,294 children, to the tune of £9.9m in Jacob Young’s seat of Redcar.

Just four Tory MPs voted against the Government’s UC cut, which kicks in from this week, in a Labour-held vote on the move last month.

Labour has said it would keep the £20-a-week uplift until it had the chance to replace the benefit with a “fairer” social security system that allows people to keep more of the money they earn.


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