Labour calls for change as almost half of families with children in Rotherham face losing £1,040 per year
Labour councillors will call a vote on the government’s proposals to cut Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit at this month’s council meeting in the hope of sending a clear message to the government that it must rethink its plan.
As the Conservative government doubles down on its plan to cut Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit on 6th October, figures from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation show that almost 30,000 households in our borough will face a £1,040 cut to their annual income as a result.
According to figures released by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), 29,220 households in the Rotherham, Rother Valley and Wentworth and Dearne constituencies will face this cut of £20 from their weekly budget – with 16,380 of these households being families with children.
The JRF research indicates that 6 out of 10 families in the Rotherham constituency will lose out, compared to 47% of families with children in the Wentworth and Dearne constituency, and 38% in Alexander Stafford’s Rother Valley constituency.
For the poorest families, this amounts to a 5% cut in their income, equivalent to losing one in every twenty pounds they have. In May this year, a report from the charity Save the Children indicated that more than 1 in 3 children in the Rotherham borough now live in poverty, a 5% increase since 2014/15.
RMBC Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Cllr Dave Sheppard said;
“Cutting the income of those most in need is cruel and makes no economic sense whatsoever. The timing of this cut is even crueller. Cutting £20 per week from our most vulnerable households just as we begin to enter the winter period means families will face the terrible choice of either eating, or heating their homes. It is totally unacceptable in the 6th largest economy in the world that families are forced into a choice of either keeping warm or eating a nourishing meal. The stress this places on the physical and mental health of everyone in the households affected by this cut is both unnecessary and unjust.
“Working families make up the majority of those who will be affected by this cut, the biggest since the creation of the modern welfare state, which disproportionately affects areas like our own. Far from ‘levelling up’, this is a continuation of the policies the Tories have pushed for the last decade – hitting hardest those with the least. Taking £20 per week from the most vulnerable in our borough removes £30 million per year from our local economy, so everyone loses out in the long run.”
“Labour’s MPs have been adamant in their opposition to this cut, and Labour councillors will be spelling out our support for local families at our meeting at the end of this month. We will send a clear message to the government about the impact the Conservative policy will have on our community.”