The Conservative Government’s plans to cut Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits on 6 October will take almost £1.5 million out of the Tees Valley economy a week, says Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham.
Figures provided by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation show that the Chancellor’s plans to cut £20 a week from Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit recipients will see £1,491,800 a week taken out of the local economy – a move that could potentially hit local businesses and retailers who are seeking to rebuild after the pandemic. In Parliament, Alex called on all MPs in the Tees Valley to work together against cuts to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits – a call he repeats now.
There are 74,590 households in the Tees Valley in receipt of Universal Credit, 38,510 of these with children. 58 per cent of recipients in the Tees Valley are either in work or unable to work.
“The Chancellor’s decision to cut Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits will push thousands of people in the Tees Valley into poverty or severe financial difficulty, and I call on him again to reverse his cruel cut to these in work benefits.
“But the Tees Valley economy is also endangered by the Government’s decision to press ahead with these cuts. The £20 a week the Chancellor is cutting from people would be spent in local shops, restaurants and businesses. Our economy is rebuilding after a difficult eighteen months and it needs every penny to grow.
“The Government talks big about “levelling up” but taking money from people and out of the local economy does the complete opposite. If the Chancellor won’t listen to the social argument for keeping Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits at its current rate, maybe he’ll listen to the economic one.”