Birmingham MP warns of benefit cuts as unemployment soars

Steve McCabe MP for Birmingham Selly Oak has called the Government’s proposed plans to cut Universal Credit reckless, as unemployment rises again. 

Figures released today show an estimated 1.72 million people were unemployed between September and November 2020, which is the highest rate of unemployment in five years. Locally in Birmingham Selly Oak 7.4% were claiming unemployment benefits in December 2020. This is significantly higher than the national average rate of 6.3%. 

The impact of the pandemic on job opportunities has been hugely worrying, since February 2020 the number of payroll employees has fallen by 828,000. Given the number of people losing their jobs and the huge numbers of self-employed people unable to make a living and excluded from coronavirus financial support, Steve McCabe MP has raised serious concerns about the Government’s proposed removal of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit. Constituents have told the Selly Oak MP the uplift has been a lifeline, helping them to pay the bills and put food on the table. 

Labour and many charities have been calling for the Government to retain the Universal Credit uplift to protect the millions of families dependant on this financial support. 

Steve McCabe MP has said: 

“We know the pandemic has caused financial hardship for millions and it will continue to do so for months to come. Given we are facing the worst period of unemployment in years it is inconceivable that the Government is planning to cut Universal Credit payments so many families are relying on.” 

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