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MP joins local leaders in urging Chancellor not to cut Universal Credit

September 8, 2021 3:49 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has joined other local leaders in writing to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, urging him not to go ahead with plans to cut Universal Credit by £20 a week from October.

In a letter signed by representatives from local organisations such as South Lakes Housing, Manna House and Cumbria County Council, Rishi Sunak is warned that the cut will lead to a "more damaging effect in the deterioration of the mental health and wellbeing of individuals in our community".

It comes as a new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that some 4,330 families in Westmorland and Lonsdale will be harmed by the Government's Universal Credit cut.

In the letter to Mr Sunak, the group say: "As you are no doubt aware, numerous individuals in our communities in South Lakeland are currently facing significant and increasing hardship and this has been particularly magnified during the pandemic.

"The proposal to cut Universal Credit is going to have a huge impact on the lowest-income families, a concern that has been voiced by many who remain increasingly concerned about its impact.

"We are sure that there is no need to remind you that such hardship and worry are having an added and even more damaging effect in the deterioration of the mental health and wellbeing of individuals in our community which seems to have become more prevalent during the pandemic.

"We believe it is not a coincidence that these worrying trends correlate with the stress caused to many by their increased hardship and worries about making ends meet. Many more people are now finding themselves in hardship situations with the insecurity, loss of esteem and general despair that this entails for them and their families.

"This is about more than £20 per week added onto a Universal Credit payment, it's about supporting individual and in turn our communities at a time that they need it most."