Chesterfield man urges Government to keep £20-per-week Universal Credit uplift

A Chesterfield man has criticised the Government’s plans to cut the £20-per-week Universal Credit uplift next month.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 10:55 am
Updated Thursday, 16th September 2021, 2:32 pm

According to the Tories, the £20 top-up was always a temporary measure to help people through the pandemic.

But there are calls for the Government to keep the £20-per-week payments – amid concerns millions of claimants could lose out on more than £1,000 annually.

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Chesterfield man Ricky Berry is urging the Government not to cut Universal Credit. Picture by Brian Eyre.

Ricky Berry, of Mound Road, is a long-term chronic pain sufferer and claims Universal Credit, which was introduced to merge six benefits into one payment.

The 26-year-old told the Derbyshire Times: “I greatly disagree with the Government planning to cut Universal Credit payments as most claimants struggle as it is.

“Without the extra funds everyone will stay in poverty – but I guess that’s the idea.

“With the extra funds it started to allow people to restore some hope that our Government works for the people and their benefit, and actually allowed some to pay off or work towards bills they couldn’t previously afford due to not having enough income to live in the first place.

“And it allows people like me to have more funds for living expenses as most of my income is used on private healthcare for chronic pain management and my disabilities.

“They say we have enough to live on but that’s simply not the case for most of us.

“Why should some people in higher society sit comfortably while others in lower society scrimp and struggle to survive?

“It’s fast becoming clear to many and general awareness is growing that things are only getting worse for poverty-stricken people.”

Mr Berry urged the Government to ‘change its priorities’ and show ‘more love’ for the country’s citizens.

During Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Labour leader Keir Starmer called on Boris Johnson to ‘cancel the cut’, adding that ‘millions of working families will be hit hard’ by the policy.

Mr Johnson said ‘every single recipient of Universal Credit will lose their benefits under Labour because they want to abolish Universal Credit’.

A Twitter poll carried out by Derbyshire Times’ reporter Michael Broomhead found that 63 per cent of respondents think the £20-per-week uplift should be made permanent.

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