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Farron: Lib Dems Will Block Universal Credit Cuts For Lowest Earners

January 6, 2016 7:34 PM

The Lib Dems will block Conservative attempts to cut the incomes of people on low and middle incomes, Tim Farron MP has warned today.

Parliament today debated the government's plans to implement cuts to the Universal Credit, which would mean that from 2017/18, new Universal Credit claimants who are in work will receive over £1,000 less on average than existing claimants.

In the Autumn, the Chancellor decided to scrap changes to tax credits which would have hit the poorest hardest. However, Tim has accused the government of introducing exactly the same changes "through the back door" as a result of these plans.

In South Lakeland, there are almost 300 recipients of Universal Credit, over 100 of whom are in employment. Many of these low paid workers are set to be hit by the changes.

Research by Liverpool Economics suggests that the net effect on the income of lone parents will be a reduction of £2,600. Disabled people will see a net reduction in income of £2,000, whilst the net effect on couples with children will be a reduction of £1,000.

According to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, the Government's own advisory body, "there is a risk that incentives to progress in work for many families could end up being worse than they were…The immediate priority must be…reversing the" planned "cuts to work allowances…before they are implemented".

The Liberal Democrats are set to table an amendment in the House of Lords to the Government's Welfare Reform and Work Bill to repeal the regulations bringing in the change, which would likely see a vote before the end of January.

Tim said: "The Lib Dems will do all we can to prevent this assault by the Conservatives on the incomes of the lowest earners.

"I opposed the government's plans to cut tax credits, and I oppose their new plans which would lead to the same outcome.

"The least well-off and most vulnerable people in our society need our support to help them into work. Slashing the income of the lowest earners will not provide this."