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Rugby Lib Dems call on Chancellor to retain £20-a-week boost to Universal Credit

February 24, 2021 2:39 PM
By Rugby Lib Dems

Universal Credit logoLiberal Democrat Councillors support calls for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, to retain the £20 weekly boost to Universal Credit payments.

A motion was brought forward at a meeting of Rugby Borough Council on 23 February 2021 with Liberal Democrats and Labour Councillors voting in favour.

Conservative Councillors either voted against or abstained on the motion.

The £20 weekly increase, brought in last April to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on household finances is set to end on 31 March 2021.

In October 2020, 8,948 people were claiming Universal Credit in Rugby, which was an increase of 65.6% on the 2,407 claimants in the month of March. It meant that 14% of people aged 16 to 64 in the borough are now on Universal Credit.

A vote in Parliament held on Monday 18 January 2021 and in which the Conservative Government abstained, all Liberal Democrat MPs attended and voting in favour. The motion to increase Universal Credit was carried by 278 votes to nil.

In addition, over 30 Liberal Democrat Council Leaders in England have written to the Government calling for the £20 increase in Universal Credit to be made permanent.

Commenting, Councillor Tim Douglas (Paddox), said:

"Last year we saw a 65% increase in Universal Credit claimants in Rugby and because of the pandemic many people and families across the borough have suffered financial hardship, through no fault of their own. The uplift in Universal Credit has been a lifeline to them and the Government should be increasing support at this time, not reducing it."

Notice of Motion

(a) "The £20 weekly boost to Universal Credit is a lifeline that is keeping many individuals and families in Rugby afloat at this difficult time. The pandemic has caused immense economic pressure to those on a low income, and if the £20 boost is withdrawn these people will sink below the poverty line.

Because of the continuing and unprecedented economic pressure that Covid has caused for some of our residents, we urge Rugby Borough Council to write to Central Government to demand that the £20 weekly boost to Universal Credit payment is retained."